Quotenik
categorized under:

failure

“The nature of process, to one degree or another, involves failure. You have at it. It doesn’t work. You keep pushing. It gets better. But it’s not good. It gets worse. You go at it again. Then you desperately stab at it, believing ‘this isn’t going to work.’ And it does!”

Saul Bass

more info

source: Saul Bass: A Life in Film & Design by Jennifer Bass & Pat Kirkham (London: Laurence King Publishing, 2011), 386.

category: , , ,

medium: Monograph

“Mistakes can’t be erased but they move you from your present position.”

Richard Diebenkorn

more info

“Next to imagination you have to have perseverance in order to create something of value. I may even say that perseverance is more important than imagination in a certain sense. A modest amount of imagination with a great ability to persevere can produce an important work. Great imagination lacking the perseverance to develop, shape, and carry it out can result in failure.”

Saul Bass

more info

source: Saul Bass: A Life in Film & Design, by Jennifer Bass and Pat Kirkham (London: Laurence King Publishing, 2011), 386.

buy on Amazon

category: , , ,

medium: Nonfiction

“There was never a plan. There was just a series of mistakes.”

Robert Caro

more info

source: Caro on how he became a historian and biographer, in “Robert Caro’s Big Dig,” by Charles McGrath, New York Times, April 12, 2012.

category: , , , ,

medium: Newspaper profile

“The need for success and the fear of failure are two aspects of the same inner attitude. For it isn’t failure that causes the sinking sensation we all know, but the fear of failure. Failure isn’t the enemy—fear is. One learns, after all, by failing. This is elementary; we all know it, except when it applies to ourselves…”

Carla Needleman

more info

source: The Work of Craft (London: Arcana, 1986), 16.

view on Google Books

category: , , ,

medium: Nonfiction

“Failure is a big source of innovation in music.”

Brian Eno

more info

source: Soundcheck, NPR, “Musical Chain Letter: Brian Eno,” November 11, 2011.

category: , , ,

medium: Interview

“It would be a complete error to suppose that the great discoverer is one who seizes at once unerringly upon the truth, or has any special method of divining it. In all probability the errors of the great mind far exceed in number those of the less vigorous one. Fertility of imagination and abundance of guesses at truth are among the first requisites of discovery; but the erroneous guesses must almost of necessity be many times as numerous as those which prove well founded. The weakest analogies, the most whimsical notions, the most apparently absurd theories, may pass through the teeming brain, and no record may remain of more than the hundredth part.”

William Stanley Jevons

more info

source: The Principles of Science (London: Macmillan, 1874), 221–22.

view on Google Books

category: , , , ,

medium: Nonfiction

“The history of being spectacularly right has a shadow history lurking behind it: a much longer history of being spectacularly wrong, again and again. And not just wrong, but messy. A shockingly large number of transformative ideas in the annals of science can be attributed to contaminated laboratory environments. Alexander Fleming famously discovered the medical virtues of penicillin when the mold accidentally infiltrated a culture of Staphylococcus.”

Steven Johnson

more info

source: Where Good Ideas Come From (New York: Riverhead, 2010), 134.

buy on Amazon
view on Google Books

category: , , , ,

medium: Nonfiction

“To the young artist who may be reading this: consider the possibility that you might actually be lucky when you get rejected from stuff. Because of this streak of what appeared to be bad luck, I fell into my life as it is today.”

Lisa Yuskavage

more info

source: Interview by Mónica de la Torre, BOMB magazine, Issue 117, Fall 2011.

category: , , ,

medium: Interview

“Do not be too timid & squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make, the better. What if they are a little coarse, & you may get your coat soiled or torn? What if you do fail, & get fairly rolled in the dirt once or twice? Up again, you shall never more be so afraid of a tumble.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

more info

source: Nov. 1842 entry, Emerson in His Journals, selected and edited by Joel Porte (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1982), 294–95.

buy on Amazon

category: , , ,

medium: Journal

“Failure after long perseverance is much grander than never to have a striving good enough to be called a failure.”

George Eliot

more info

source: Middlemarch: A Study of Provincial Life, vol 1 (Edinburgh and London: William Blackwood and Sons, 1871), 404.

view on Google Books

category: ,

medium: fiction

“I fail and I go on. Failure is a beginning, failure is the springboard of hope.”

Carla Needleman

more info

source: The Work of Craft (London: Arcana, 1986), 15.

view on Google Books

category: , ,

medium: nonfiction

“You must understand your mistakes. Study the hell out of them. You’re not going to have the chance of making the same mistake again—you can’t step into the river again at the same place and the same time—but you will have the chance of making a similar mistake.”

Andrew Grove

more info

source: “What I’ve Learned: Andy Grove,” by Mike Sager, Esquire, May 1, 2000.

view online

category: , , , ,

medium: interview

“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”

Samuel Beckett

more info

source: “Worstward Ho,” in Nohow on: Three Novels (New York: Grove Press, 1980), 89.

buy on Amazon
view on Google Books

category: , , ,

medium: fiction

Quality Quote Collecting