János Bolyai

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Out of nothing I have created a strange new universe.
[A reference to the creation of a non-euclidean geometry.]
One must do no violence to nature, nor model it in conformity to any blindly formed chimera.
Mathematical discoveries, like springtime violets in the woods, have their season which no human can hasten or retard.
Quoted in I Kleiner, Thinking the unthinkable, Mathematics Teacher 81 (7) 1988, 590.