Nothing in Art or Philosophy Is Original

A friend on Facebook posted this quote:

“Everything that needs to be said has already been said. But since no one was listening, everything must be said again.”

― André Gide

I don’t know who Gide is but I think this is quite true. The only thing I would differ on is that it wasn’t really a matter of not “listening”. There are two different kinds of knowledge in life: one type allows us to build on the knowledge of others (technical knowledge like math, science, etc..), but the other type doesn’t (like philosophy and art). We all have to acquire it from scratch on our own. There are no shortcuts. So, ultimately in art, we are just repeating the same things that have already been said million times before, but in our own ways, for our own times.