"I was surprised when a friend of mine told me he was going over a story he had just finished to put more subtlety into it; I didn't think it my business to suggest that you couldn't be more subtle by taking thought. Subtlety is a quality of the mind, and if you have it you show it because you can't help it. It's like originality; no one can be original by trying. The original artist is only being himself; he puts things in what seems to him a perfectly normal and obvious way: because it's fresh and new to you you say he's original. He doesn't know what you mean. How stupid are those second-rate painters, for instance, who can't but put paint on their canvas in a dull and commonplace way and think to impress the world with their originality by placing meaningless and incongruous objects against an academic background."
A Writer's Notebook - W.Somerset Maugham - (January 25, 1874 - December 16, 1965)
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