De Mënsch kann näischt wirklech nei erschafen.
De Mënsch kann nie eppes wirklech Neies, Onofhängeges, aus sëch selwer eraus, schafen oer erfannen. Hien brauch ëmmer eng Matière, déi schon existéiert, vun der en ausgoen kann. Dat gëlt fir jidereen. Och fir de Shakespeare:
O.M. A man’s brain is so constructed that IT CAN ORIGINATE NOTHING WHATSOEVER. It can only use material obtained OUTSIDE. It is merely a machine; and it works automatically, not by will-power. IT HAS NO COMMAND OVER ITSELF, ITS OWNER HAS NO COMMAND OVER IT.
Y.M. Well, never mind Adam: but certainly Shakespeare’s creations–
O.M. No, you mean Shakespeare’s IMITATIONS. Shakespeare created nothing. He correctly observed, and he marvelously painted. He exactly portrayed people whom GOD had created; but he created none himself. Let us spare him the slander of charging him with trying. Shakespeare could not create. HE WAS A MACHINE, AND MACHINES DO NOT CREATE.
Y.M. Where WAS his excellence, then?
O.M. In this. He was not a sewing-machine, like you and me; he was a Gobelin loom. The threads and the colors came into him FROM THE OUTSIDE; outside influences, suggestions, EXPERIENCES (reading, seeing plays, playing plays, borrowing ideas, and so on), framed the patterns in his mind and started up his complex and admirable machinery, and IT AUTOMATICALLY turned out that pictured and gorgeous fabric which still compels the astonishment of the world. If Shakespeare had been born and bred on a barren and unvisited rock in the ocean his mighty intellect would have had no OUTSIDE MATERIAL to work with, and could have invented none; and NO OUTSIDE INFLUENCES, teachings, moldings, persuasions, inspirations, of a valuable sort, and could have invented none; and so Shakespeare would have produced nothing. In Turkey he would have produced something–something up to the highest limit of Turkish influences, associations, and training. In France he would have produced something better–something up to the highest limit of the French influences and training. In England he rose to the highest limit attainable through the OUTSIDE HELPS AFFORDED BY THAT LAND’S IDEALS, INFLUENCES, AND TRAINING. You and I are but sewing-machines. We must turn out what we can; we must do our endeavor and care nothing at all when the unthinking reproach us for not turning out Gobelins.
(‘What is Man?’ – Mark Twain)