In his novella "Bartleby, the Scrivener", widely considered one of the finest works of American literature, Herman Melville tells a story of a lawyer who hires the "incurably forlorn" Bartleby as a clerk in his small firm. Silent and enigmatic, Bartleby performs well at first. One day, however, when requested by his employer to assist with some routine proofreading, he declines, using his famous phrase...
"I would prefer not to."
"It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation."