For instance, Oscar Levant says

"There's a fine line between genius and insanity. I have erased this line." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oscar_Levant)

but I'm not sure if he is the original maker of this saying. For instance there are many other examples of it's usage : There's a fine line between pleasure and pain, and so on.

closed as too broad by Ellie Kesselman, tchrist, Centaurus, Drew, andy256 Dec 1 '14 at 3:00

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It appears that there is no specific origin of the phrase as suggested by The Phrase Finder :

  • 'There's a fine line between...' means that the two things mentioned are very close. For example, there's a fine line between genius and madness, or love and hate.

  • These fine lines may be the origin of the phrase, or at least the source of its popularity.

    "Great wits are sure to madness near alli'd And thin partitions do their bounds divide."

  • John Dryden 1631-1700 in Alexander's Feast 1.163

Ngram suggests that the phrase became more and more popular from the beginning of the 20th century.

One of my favourite quotes:

“a thin line separates love from hate, success from failure, life from death, a line as difficult to walk as a razor’s edge”. ( W. Somerset Maugham)

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