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Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.

NUMBER: 2075
AUTHOR: François René, Vicomte de Chateaubriand (1768–1848)
QUOTATION: The original style is not the style which never borrows of any one, but that which no other person is capable of reproducing.

(L’écrivain original n’est pas celui qui n’imite personne, mais celui que personne ne peut imiter.)
ATTRIBUTION: FRANÇOIS RENÉ DE CHATEAUBRIAND, The Genius of Christianity (Génie du Christianisme), trans. Charles I. White, part 2, book 1, chapter 3, p. 221 (1856, reprinted 1976).

This sentence has also been translated as: “The original writer is not he who refrains from imitating others, but he who can be imitated by none.”—The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, 3d ed., p. 141 (1979).
SUBJECTS: Writers and writing