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Directory of Mark Twain's maxims, quotations, and various opinions:

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Ideas postcard
Postcard from the Dave Thomson collection.

IDEAS

 

The man with a new idea is a Crank until the idea succeeds.
- Following the Equator

The fact is the human race is not only slow about borrowing valuable ideas--it sometimes persists in not borrowing them at all.
- "Some National Stupidities"

It always happens that when a man seizes upon a neglected and important idea, people inflamed with the same notion crop up all around.
- Life on the Mississippi

You've got to admire men that deal in ideas of that size and can tote them around without crutches.
- Life on the Mississippi

There is no such thing as a new idea. It is impossible. We simply take a lot of old ideas and put them into a sort of mental kaleidoscope. We give them a turn and they make new and curious combinations. We keep on turning and making new combinations indefinitely; but they are the same old pieces of colored glass that have been in use through all the ages.
- Mark Twain, a Biography

The king looked puzzled--he wasn't a very heavy weight, intellectually. His head was an hour-glass; it could stow an idea, but it had to do it a grain at a time, not the whole idea at once.
- A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court


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