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Newness

  • ... novelty, the subtlest spring of all passion.

  • New things are always ugly.

  • Those persons are happiest in this restless and mutable world who are in love with change, who delight in what is new simply because it differs from what is old; who rejoice in every innovation, and find a strange alert pleasure in all that is, and that has never been before.

    • Agnes Repplier,
    • "The Charm of the Familiar," Essays in Miniature ()
  • Innovations to which we are not committed are illuminating things.

    • Agnes Repplier,
    • "Conservative's Consolations," Points of Friction ()
  • In business life, that is, in its material processes, we eagerly accept the new. In social life, in all our social processes, we piously, valiantly, obdurately, maintain the old.

  • It is often the case with a new idea that when it comes knocking on society's door with modesty and the best premises for its existence, there is a tremendous outcry from inside.

  • ... we are, in this country, more open to new ideas. But we are also, it seems to me, more inclined to hail the new as absolute truth — until the next new comes along.

  • The history of human growth is at the same time the history of every new idea heralding the approach of a brighter dawn, and the brighter dawn has always been considered illegal, outside of the law.

    • Emma Goldman,
    • "Address to the Jury" (1917), in Alix Kates Shulman, ed., Red Emma Speaks ()
  • That which is the wonder of one age is the commonplace of the next.

  • At first people refuse to believe that a strange new thing can be done, then they begin to hope it can be done, then they see it can be done — then it is done and all the world wonders why it was not done centuries ago.

  • We tend to think things are new because we've just discovered them.

  • What the world, social and political, concrete and mental, really needs is not new things, but the old things made new ...

  • ... from one minute to the next the present is merely an honorary past. It must be filled unceasingly anew to dissemble the curse it carries within itself; that is why Americans like speed, alcohol, thriller films and any sensational news: the demand for new things, and ever newer things, is feverish since nowhere will they rest.

  • New doctrines ever displease the old. They like to fancy that the world has been losing wisdom, instead of gaining it, since they were young.

  • That's always the way when you discover something new; everybody thinks you're crazy.

    • Evelyn E. Smith,
    • "The Martian and the Magician," in Isaac Asimov, ed., Fifty Short Science Fiction Tales ()
  • It is inherent in human consciousness to improve. So there is nothing unique about a people searching for and creating ways to make their life better — all civilizations throughout history have done this. What is unique about us in America is the accelerated rate at which we continually search for novelty and progress.

  • The power of habit and the charm of novelty are the two adverse forces which explain the follies of mankind.

  • Today's shocks are tomorrow's conventions.

  • Copywriters may struggle to distill their messages of enthusiasm in bright prose and snappy slogans, but the one word favored by advertisers over the years, is still the old word new.

  • Despite our complicated civilization, so called, or perhaps on account of it, we are all of us a mere set of barbarians, who find it less trouble to provide a new, cheap, and shoddy thing than to get the full use and full pleasure out of a finely-made and carefully-chosen old one.

    • Vernon Lee,
    • "New Friends and Old," Hortus Vitae ()
  • New things are only those which have been forgotten.

    • Rose Bertin,
    • in Emile Langlade, Rose Bertin, the Creator of Fashion at the Court of Marie-Antoinette ()