Eric Temple Bell
To appreciate the living spirit rather than the dry bones of mathematics, it is necessary to inspect the work of a master at first hand. Textbooks and treatises are an unavoidable evil…The very crudities of the first attack on a significant problem by a master are more illuminating than all the pretty elegance of the standard texts which has been won at the cost of perhaps centuries of finicky polishing.
“Obvious” is the most dangerous word in mathematics.
The longer mathematics lives the more abstract—and therefore, possibly also the more practical—it becomes.
Creative mathematicians now, as in the past, are inspired by the art of mathematics rather than by any prospect of ultimate usefulness.