This node is an adaptation I did to a document called 'The Mathematician's Apology'. I would love to cite the original document but, the place where I saw it escapes me. - Ahab

I have never done anything "useful". No thought or witticism of mine has made, or is likely to make, directly or indirectly, for good or ill, the least difference to the amenity of the world. I have helped to train other writers, but writers of the same kind as myself, and their work has been, so far at any rate as I have helped them to it, as useless as my own. Judged by all practical standards, the value of my literary life is nil; and outside literary circles it is trivial anyhow. I have just one chance for escaping a verdict of complete triviality, that I may be judged to have created something worth creating. And that I have created something is undeniable; the question is about its value.

The case for my life, then, or for that of any one else who has been a writer in the same sense in which I have been one, is this: That I have added something to knowledge, something of beauty, and helped others to add more; and that these sometimes have a value which differs in degree only, and not in kind, from that of the creations of the great writers, or of any other artists, great or small, who have left some kind of memorial behind them.

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