Originality has in many ways become “the intellectual pest of our time” . The paramount desire for originality means that truth is of secondary concern, and in some cases, of no concern at all. A man beset thereby seeks to establish his extraordinariness, and, in striving thereafter, he may even refuse to recognise truth too ordinary for his purpose.
It is the most foolish of all errors for young people of good intelligence to imagine that they will forfeit their originality if they acknowledge truth already acknowledged by others. 
Striving after originality gives off a reek of desperate mediocrity.  If that were its sole result, however, then we should live quite peaceably with pinched and pegged noses; but the fact is that it gives rise also to the silliest conceptions, which have nothing to recommend them and would not be set in print, were it not that they drew attention to the author’s standing as above that of the ordinary man.
Whatever has the air of a paradox, and is contrary to the first and most unprejudiced notions of mankind, is often greedily embraced by philosophers, as shewing the superiority of their science, which cou’d discover opinions so remote from vulgar conception. 
It is on account of the esteemed and almost mythic status that geniuses have attained — and on account of all the popular stories told about them which ignore the graft and the strict mastery and which concentrate instead on the fancies and oddities — that there are now so many men who, though possessing no rare talent or sensibility, let alone genius, declare themselves dissatisfied with the boundaries of their discipline, and who thereupon proceed to “transgress the boundaries” with all the grace and intelligence of a gas escaping from a swamp.
 [“die jetzige geistige Pest”.] Jacob Burckhardt, Weltgeschichtliche Betrachtungen (Krefeld: Scerpe-Verlag, 1948), p.132.
 Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Maxims and Reflections, tr. E.Stopp (London: Penguin Books, 1998), §.254, p.29.
 “One must possess originality, not ‘strive for it’.” [“Originalität muß man haben, nicht ‘danach streben’.”] Jacob Burckhardt, op.cit., p.133.
 David Hume, A Treatise of Human Nature (New York: Dover Publications, 2003), p.19. “The essential thing is not that there be many truths in a work, but that no truth be abused.” Joseph Joubert, The Notebooks of Joseph Joubert, tr. P. Auster (New York: New York Review Books, 2005), Year 1787, p.10.