Questions tagged [quote-source]

Questions seeking to identify the source of a quote. If possible, include the exact quote whose origin you're seeking, or describe it as closely as you can. (For questions seeking to identify a entire story or work of literature from some remembered details, use the [identification-request] tag instead.)

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Source of "talent is formed in solitude", attributed to Goethe

I'm annotating an essay by Paul Hensel and he quotes Goethe: "talent is formed in solitude, character in the currents and cataracts of the world." I can't seem to find what the source of ...
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2 votes
0 answers
31 views

Humorous quote about some minor indiscretion leading to a major crime

There is a humorous quote by Oscar Wilde or somebody about one minor bad act leading to a major bad act. This isn't it, but it was like this: Don't wash your hands today, then you'll start shop-...
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5 votes
2 answers
153 views

Where did Doyle write that the Hound of the Baskervilles was originally intended as a "Victorian creeper", and what does this mean?

According to Wikipedia (section "Technique" in the Wikipedia page for the famous Sherlock Holmes story "The Hound of the Baskervilles"; emphasis mine): The novel incorporates five ...
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8 votes
1 answer
621 views

Identify Source of Quote on Running Out of Breath and Commas

I've got a quote rattling around in my head that I am trying to identify. Unfortunately, I don't know the exact wording. The scenario is the "narrator" commenting on a character's run-on ...
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10 votes
2 answers
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"There are three sorts of people: those who are alive, those who are dead, and those who are at sea." Did Aristotle really say this?

The famous sentence "There are three sorts of people: those who are alive, those who are dead, and those who are at sea" is often attributed to Aristotle. However, I was unable to find an ...
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1 vote
3 answers
265 views

Understanding "If people do not believe that mathematics is simple, it is only because they do not realize how complicated life is."

"If people do not believe that mathematics is simple, it is only because they do not realize how complicated life is." John von Neumann Why can't someone think that both math and life are ...
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1 vote
0 answers
26 views

Did Gertrude Stein see her work as an excess of consciousness?

Gertrude Stein (1874–1946) was an American modernist author. From 1893 to 1897 she was a student of psychologist William James. She experimented with stream of consciousness and results from such ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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What is the source of Hannah Arendt's quote about Les Mots by Sartre?

Earlier this year, Samantha Rose Hill, who has been working on a book about Hannah Arendt, tweeted, "I just finished reading Sartre's Les Mots—and was so disgusted that I was almost tempted to ...
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2 votes
1 answer
677 views

Aslan as an alternative version of Jesus as the form in which he may have appeared in an alternative reality?

The Wikipedia article about The Chronicles of Narnia contains the following statement about Aslan: C. S. Lewis described Aslan as an alternative version of Jesus as the form in which he may have ...
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3 votes
1 answer
270 views

Did Mark Twain say the two most important days of our life are the day we're born and the day we find out why?

This quote has been variously attributed to Mark Twain (for example, here and here and here and here, with varying amounts of surrounding discussion). The two most important days in your life are the ...
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3 votes
2 answers
445 views

Who said that history is a lie/fable agreed upon?

The following quote is commonly attributed to Napoleon Bonaparte: History is a set of lies agreed upon. Even to the extent that a book about Napoleon was written with this title. But even a more ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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Where and when did Marcel Reich-Ranicki quip about a book being too long?

Marcel Reich-Ranicki (1920–2013) was probably the most famous—or infamous—German literary critic of the second half of the twentieth century. From 1988 to 2001, Reich-Ranicki hosted the literary talk ...
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2 votes
1 answer
369 views

Did Dorothy Parker really say Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged should be thrown with great force?

According to some internet sources, Dorothy Parker did not think highly of Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged. For example, Brian Leiter (University of Chicago Law School), tweeted the following as 'Dorothy ...
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2 votes
1 answer
37 views

What is the famous song about the independence of Bahia or Brazil?

Like many other novels by Jorge Amado, Home Is the Sailor is set in Bahia, one of the states of Brazil. On the second of July, one of the novel's characters organises a ceremony during which [trumpet ...
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5 votes
2 answers
321 views

Source for the "monsters under our bed" quote attributed to Darwin

I'm trying to locate the source of the famous quote usually attributed to Darwin (and sometimes, The Joker...): We stopped looking for monsters under our bed when we realized that they were inside us....
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3 votes
1 answer
109 views

Who said something like: "I'm an atheist; but it's the Christian God in whom I don't believe"?

The above is basically a quippy way of describing oneself as an atheist from a Christian upbringing. I've been quoting it for years with the vague recollection that I'm quoting someone famous, but ...
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6 votes
1 answer
326 views

Which ancient Greek politician punched a teacher for failing to carry his copy of Homer?

When I first studied the Iliad in middle school, I remember a story about about a politician in Athens punching a traveling tutor for the sin of not carrying his copy of Homer on him at all times. ...
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4 votes
2 answers
740 views

Original language of Tolstoy quote "Il ne faut écrire qu'au moment..."

Was the following quote by Tolstoy originally in French? Did he say it in French? In what language should this quote by Tolstoy be cited? Il ne faut écrire qu'au moment où chaque fois que tu trempes ...
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4 votes
1 answer
157 views

Who first wrote, “one person’s modus ponens is another’s modus tollens”?

The phrase “one person’s modus ponens is another’s modus tollens” is a popular philosophical motto that reminds us that a chain of logical reasoning works in both directions: if the truth of some ...
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2 votes
0 answers
28 views

'Nature Nodding' - author and date?

Haldane MacFall's novel The Wooings of Jezebel Pettyfer (1898) has a lead-in quotation that puzzles me. No author is indicated; the quotation is ascribed to a work, 'Nature Nods', but no amount of ...
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8 votes
0 answers
123 views

Which mystery writer said they picked the murderer only after writing the book?

A discussion of murder mysteries on Twitter included this claim: Agatha Christie is on record as saying that she didn’t decide who the murderer was until she was ready to write the last chapter—then ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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What is the origin of the phrase "the hearts of men"?

Nickolas Butler and Barbara Ehrenreich have written (completely different) books entitled "The Hearts of Men". The phrase also appears in the fourth verse of the Battle Hymn of the Republic. ...
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4 votes
1 answer
432 views

Reference for author of "The earth has music for those who listen"

The earth has music for those who listen. I just came to know about this quote but I found out that the author is not known. Some say it's by William Shakespeare, others say George Santayana and ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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What is the contemporary translation of this quote from The Art of War?

Guy Debord's 1988 essay “Comments on The Society of the Spectacle” opens with this epigram from Sun Tzu's The Art of War: However critical the situation and circumstances in which you find yourself, ...
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3 votes
1 answer
92 views

What is the textual origin of the quote attributed to Goethe starting "The heights charm us, but the steps do not"

The full quote is The heights charm us, but the steps do not; with the mountain in our view we love to walk the plains. I remembered reading it several years ago, most likely in quotation, but a ...
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2 votes
1 answer
508 views

Did Dostoevsky say “While nothing is easier than to denounce the evildoer, nothing is more difficult than to understand him.”?

Raskolnikov’s Strange Ideas: How Dostoevsky Predicted Modern Terrorism – Bloggers Karamazov “While nothing is easier than to denounce the evildoer, nothing is more difficult than to understand him.” –...
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4 votes
0 answers
71 views

Who wrote this particular poem in Zinky Boys?

Zinky Boys refers to the following (rather morbid in my opinion) poem: Women and wine are fine But a real man needs more The sweet taste of war The interviewee mentioned that that bit of verse was ...
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8 votes
2 answers
185 views

Who was Coleridge's "schoolman"?

In an editorial in his weekly magazine The Friend, Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote: Omnia exeunt in mysterium says a Schoolman: i.e., There is nothing, the absolute ground of which is not a Mystery. ...
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4 votes
2 answers
5k views

From which book or essay are these words by Ralph Waldo Emerson? "Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year..."

A funeral director proposed the following reading for a service. This poem by Emerson: Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year. He is rich who owns the day, and no one owns ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Where can I find Magda Szabó's tribute to Tibor Szobotka?

Magda Szabó, according to many, many sites, wrote a tribute to her husband, Tibor Szobotka, a writer and translator of Tolkien and Galsworthy who died in 1982. Unfortunately, searching for ...
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1 vote
1 answer
85 views

"Tradition is meant to be broken" - who said it, Emerson or Thoreau?

I seem to recall a quote from either Ralph Waldo Emerson or Henry David Thoreau that was something like "Tradition is meant to be broken." Which of them said it?
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5 votes
3 answers
791 views

Where does the quote “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right” come from?

The quote "If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right" is often attributed to Steve Jobs, but a quote posted on LibQuotes suggests that Steve Jobs ...
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2 votes
0 answers
73 views

Source of Greg LeMond's quote, "It never gets easier; you just go faster."

I'm writing an article about cycling and I want to include a well know quote from the professional cyclist Greg LeMond (the first and only American to win the Tour de France). The quote is: It never ...
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1 vote
1 answer
76 views

Source of Greg LeMond's quote, "The mountains are the pinnacle of suffering."

I'm writing an article about cycling and I want to include a well know quote from the professional cyclist Greg LeMond (the first American to win the Tour de France). The quote is: The key is being ...
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  • 165
8 votes
1 answer
384 views

Is this François de La Rochefoucauld's quote authentic?

I am looking for the source of the quote We are more interested in making others believe we are happy than in trying to be happy ourselves allegedly by François de La Rochefoucauld. The only French ...
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2 votes
0 answers
48 views

Where was Jeff Nuttall's "Bomb Culture" discussed in Parliament?

A fact frequently mentioned about Jeff Nuttall's book Bomb Culture (1968) is that it was the subject of a discussion in Parliament, e.g. in an article announcing a Nuttall exhibition at a library or ...
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3 votes
1 answer
186 views

Where did Jacques tell this story of how the mole accent was from truck-driving through Somerset?

According to the Redwall wiki page on moles, The mole dialect is derived from the region of Somerset, England. Brian Jacques frequently tales the story of how when he was a truck driver, he drove ...
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5 votes
1 answer
4k views

Guy-Charles Cros quoted by Osamu Dazai: "comme un crapaud contourne une pierre"

In No Longer Human Osamu Dazai attributes the quote below to Guy-Charles Cros: …et puis on recommence encore le lendemain avec seulement la même règle que la veille et qui est d'éviter les grandes ...
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2 votes
1 answer
80 views

Who speculated that the sin for which there is no forgiveness is destroying love in another person?

I remember reading a work of fiction, possibly by a Russian writer (translated into English), in which a character says that the Jesuits (?) write of a mysterious sin for which there is no forgiveness ...
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1 vote
1 answer
436 views

Did Leonardo da Vinci really say this quote about flight?

The following quote is frequently attributed by the internet to the famous 15th-16th century polymath Leonardo da Vinci: Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes ...
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2 votes
1 answer
82 views

Which book by Steven Brust has "A young man without ambition is an old man waiting to be"?

A young man without ambition is an old man waiting to be. What book is this quote from? I know the author is Steven Brust.
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19 votes
1 answer
8k views

No mayonnaise in Ireland?

Apparently there is some kind of running joke about John Donne's famous line "No man is an island", prose sometimes quoted as poetry, being misquoted as "No mayonnaise in Ireland". ...
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3 votes
0 answers
31 views

Quote about being better not to give something than to take away

I'm looking for source of a quote about being better not to give something than to take away. It's been many years, so I can't recall much more about the quote. I thought it would be from the book ...
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2 votes
0 answers
36 views

MLK Jr. quote about speaking out against anti-Semitism even if Jewish leaders say they don't need the help

I remember some years ago listening to a recording of a speech by Martin Luther King Jr, in which he says something like: Even if Jewish leaders told me "No, we do not need your help fighting ...
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1 vote
1 answer
89 views

Source of a quote by Bernard Shaw about flying versus living with each other like humans

A while ago I got this quote on an online social platform: Humans have progressed so much, now they can even fly like a bird in the sky. The only thing remaining for the humans is to live with each ...
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1 vote
1 answer
71 views

Meaning and source of this quote by Ezra Pound

I was reading a book and there appears something like this A reader or auditor is at liberty to remain passive. — Ezra Pound I want to understand the full meaning of this quote and want to know its ...
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0 votes
1 answer
61 views

What's the source of this E.M. Forster quote, and what did he mean by a “chance word”?

I was reading a book on advanced English Grammar and among the various quotes this one caught my eye: A chance word or sigh are just as much evidence as a speech or a murder. — E.M. Forster What ...
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1 vote
1 answer
159 views

What did Eliot mean when he said “I would suggest that none of the plays of Shakespeare has a meaning”?

I was reading a grammar book in which the discussion was going on about whether to treat “none” as singular or plural, then the book gave this quote by T.S. Eliot: I would suggest that none of the ...
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1 vote
1 answer
387 views

Who and for what called Shelley “beautiful and ineffectual angel”?

I was reading a blog, which was shared to me on a virtual platform, where it was written that “XYZ called Shelley as ‘beautiful and ineffectual angel’”. I don’t remember who was that XYZ but that blog ...
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3 votes
1 answer
81 views

Identify the source of this quote by T.S. Eliot

I came across this quote of T.S. Eliot There are a large number of people… who believe that all ills are fundamentally economic. I’m craving to know Eliot’s view on it and for that I need to find ...
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