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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Who said that Allingham "polished her prose until it shone over-bright," and where?

Somebody read to me from a book about Allingham long ago that she would "polish her prose until it shone over-bright" and then dictate it to her husband to reduce it to a more readable vernacular. I ...
BESW's user avatar
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8 votes
1 answer
9k views

Source of the quote "The only bad question is an unasked one"?

There are many variations on this phrase, but is there an original source which inspired the others, or is it just a piece of popular wisdom that's emerged naturally from humanity? Wikipedia has a ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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8 votes
1 answer
56k views

Where is this quote about Man, Hero, Legend and Myth from?

This quote is scattered throughout the Web: Through action, a Man becomes a Hero Through death, a Hero becomes a Legend Through time, a Legend becomes a Myth And by learning from the Myth, a Man ...
BlueMoon93's user avatar
7 votes
0 answers
113 views

Source of an Asimov quotation about the citadel of truth

Somewhere Isaac Asimov remarks that the citadel of truth can only be breached by a brute-force assault. I would like the exact source of this quote.
user avatar
6 votes
0 answers
90 views

Tracking down a literary quote about grammar

I once read a quote that goes something like, We should all be grateful to grammarians for saving us in fifty years from a grievous error. I think it's by Proust, but Google doesn't seem to ...
CJ Sheu's user avatar
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6 votes
0 answers
95 views

Did Sarojini Naidu say this: When the house is on fire, the poet should stop singing...?

Did Sarojini Naidu say something about this: "When the house is on fire, the poet should stop singing, and get the buckets to put out the fire." I got this from a FB post. But I want to find out ...
Run's user avatar
  • 169
5 votes
0 answers
83 views

Is there a common origin to the phrase "the revolution will not be televised / mentioned in the newspaper"

I'm listening in an offhand way to G.K. Chesterton's Tales from the Long Bow audiobook and I heard the phrase: when the real revolution happens it won't be mentioned in the newspapers It sounded ...
Peter Turner's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
71 views

What's the source of the so-called Chinese proverb, "it is only when mosquito land on your balls..."

Recently a tweet from @Cultination1 on X went viral on the Chinese internet. In the tweet, the following quote is labelled as "Chinese proverb": « C'est en voyant un moustique se poser sur ...
Syzygy Yuan's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
93 views

Origin of Dostoevsky quotation, used in "The Midwife"

In Katja Kettu's novel The Midwife, the character Scarface first greets Wild-Eye with the mysterious question, "The mice squealing for you yet?". Wild-Eye initially assumes that the man was ...
Clara Diaz Sanchez's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
77 views

Quote identification by Weierstraß

At one of the few occasions a mathematician expresses himself outside his technical works, I've read, maybe in a short autobiographical or a note on pedagogy specifically, someday a quote by Karl ...
Christoph Mark's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
86 views

Source of alleged San Ignacio of Lyola quote: ‘In a besieged city, all dissent is treason.’

I'm trying to find the source of the quote in the title. This Guardian article from 2021 quotes ‘Hal Klepak, professor emeritus of history and strategy at the Royal Military College of Canada’ as ...
08915bfe02's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
98 views

Did Jorge Borges write that it takes two to write a novel?

Did Jorge Borges say that all great literature is filled with ambiguities and obscurities? That it takes two people to write a novel, one the writer and the other the reader. If so, could you source ...
Turk Hill's user avatar
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4 votes
0 answers
231 views

Where did Derrida say that he deliberately made his works difficult?

In a comment below the question How does Derrida's Signifying obfuscate his writing?, DJohnson wrote, Just for the record Derrida has been quoted as stating that he deliberately made his ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
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4 votes
0 answers
95 views

Where is this passage by Nabokov on the power of language located?

I’m losing my mind, because I’ve lost a quotation that I had a few weeks ago and now can’t relocate it for the life of me. It was from either Brian Boyd’s two-volume biography of Nabokov or Boyd's ...
Lijishe's user avatar
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4 votes
0 answers
71 views

Finding author and source of quote about holocaust

I cannot remember where I read a quote about holocaust (partial quote further down) and although I'm almost certain that it was from some jewish author who himself survived holocaust I cannot remember ...
ValentaTomas's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
41 views

Who coined the phrase, "the Stoic Mistake"?

Forty-odd years ago I read something to the effect that ‘the Stoic mistake was to believe that a man could always be capable of what he was capable of at his best’. (I am sure this is inexact) Does ...
Barnaby's user avatar
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3 votes
0 answers
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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 ...
amos's user avatar
  • 131
3 votes
0 answers
68 views

In what context did Joyce Rachelle say this quote?

I often see this quote from Joyce Rachelle being posted: “Don't be afraid to make mistakes. But if you do, make new ones. Life is too short to make the wrong choice twice.” I was wondering if anyone ...
Nova's user avatar
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3 votes
0 answers
70 views

Where did Derrida say that Jonathan Culler's On Deconstruction is a good introduction to his work?

The works of the French philosopher Jacques Derrida (1930 – 2004) had a significant impact on literary theory, leading to the development of a method of analysis known as deconstruction. (Derrida said ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
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3 votes
0 answers
622 views

Source of the quote "Life is a balance between holding on and letting go" from Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Balkhī

There is a quote in the Internet which says: "Life is a balance between holding on and letting go". People cited it to Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Balkhī (Rumi). My question is that: What is the ...
Amin's user avatar
  • 131
3 votes
0 answers
51 views

Which part or quote in Cicero is Greene referring to?

In Robert Greene's novel Gwydonius; The Carde of Fancie, one of the characters, Castania, uses the following words in her rejection of Gwydonius (italics from the origin; bold by me): Better it is ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
  • 44.6k
3 votes
0 answers
71 views

Did Stefan Zweig tell this anecdote in The World of Yesterday"?

Many years ago I read The World of Yesterday by Stefan Zweig. I believe that in this book there was the following, real-life story: Shortly before the outbreak of World War II several intellectuals, ...
user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
211 views

Strange purported David Foster Wallace quote

You say you would only love a woman who is a reader and at least as intelligent as you. This is a challenge. Not on account of women, but the condition of Americans generally. If you were a homosexual ...
Jade Yeager's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
44 views

Looking for a quote about the importance of writing about women's stories, no matter how 'small' they are

I had a read a quote a long time ago by a famous author who was talking about how she was asked why she thought she should write about something as 'insignificant' as women talking in rooms when she ...
Shlok Sharma's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
62 views

Looking for the source of a quotation about how to draw beautifully

I vaguely remember a quotation that I might have read in a book many years ago, but can't remember exactly, what or where that was. Various search engines have been of little help, so far. It goes ...
Marcus C.'s user avatar
  • 121
2 votes
0 answers
33 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 ...
Geoffrey Thomas's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
289 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 ...
Scribbler's user avatar
  • 165
2 votes
0 answers
55 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 ...
henryflower's user avatar
  • 1,036
2 votes
0 answers
49 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 ...
Diogenes Creosote's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
79 views

Looking for famous scientist who originated the quote: "keep ten problems in your mind.."

I have a vague recollection of a scientist sharing a problem solving strategy. The content of that quote or strategy, which I do not recollect literally, can be summarized as: Keep a list of 10 ...
a.t.'s user avatar
  • 121
2 votes
0 answers
69 views

Searching for a Whitman quote

I am looking for a quote attributed to Walt Whitman with the following approximate meaning: Finding faults with others requires a bit of ability, but stopping yourself from abusing that information ...
Maesumi's user avatar
  • 121
2 votes
0 answers
100 views

A quote supposedly from Gustave Flaubert

So, do some of you happen to know, did Gustave Flaubert really say Pulchritudo vitae in vico, ea videtur solummodo a poetis, ea non videtur a hominibus in vicis. or anything like that? If so, where? ...
FlatAssembler's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
84 views

Source of "Immortalised in Prose, A God Among the Pages"

I'm pretty sure this comes from an English poem, referring a woman's beauty. The author suggests that roses fade and wither, and that by describing her in written word keeps her alive forever. That ...
Oliver's user avatar
  • 71
2 votes
0 answers
42 views

Bakhtin quote about flat plots and characters

Through serendipity (this question led me to Wikipedia article about Ian Watt) I found that that the Russian literary theorist Mikhael Bakhtin is supposed to have written that certain genres with flat ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
  • 44.6k
2 votes
0 answers
61 views

Quote: "No more effective device has yet been invented to prevent one man from helping another as writing a book"

I thought I once heard something like the following quote: No more effective device has yet been invented to prevent one man from helping another as writing a book. or maybe There is no more ...
SlowMagic's user avatar
  • 435
2 votes
0 answers
52 views

Trying to find a quote: Salt on top of the mountain, instead of snow

Google has failed me. I am trying to recall a quote I read once, which goes something like this: "I have reached the mountain peak I saw in my youth, but it is not snow here; it is only salt." Meaning,...
Ben's user avatar
  • 21
2 votes
0 answers
166 views

Nicanor Parra line: "Nothing important is learned from books. (I read this in a book.)"

This is one of Parra's "anti-poems" but I can't recall the exact wording, or which book it appeared in, and can't seem to find it online. The poem says something along the lines of Nothing ...
DukeZhou's user avatar
  • 4,188
1 vote
0 answers
24 views

Source for quote about love wanting the loved one to suffer

I recently listened to someone reading a text (possibly greek or Latin, but they were reading a translation of it) on the topic of love. The gist of it was that a part of love is desiring to cause ...
Moe's user avatar
  • 19
1 vote
0 answers
52 views

Searching for exact wording of a quote about a father living two lives, his own and that of his son

[edited] I remember it from decades ago when I was into reading quotation collections. I interpreted it as meaning how a father might see himself in his son and guide him away from certain experiences ...
Mark_NoBadCake's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
61 views

Quote source: "How do you never run out of ideas? You remember those of your youth." - or similar

I remember an English quote; it goes roughly like this: "How do you never run out of ideas? You remember those of your youth." - or similar... Who said this and where? I think I read this ...
Christoph Mark's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
59 views

Source and phrasing of quote on knowledge and toil

I vaguely remember a quote one of my professors used (a long time ago) in one of his lectures about the difficulty of acquiring knowledge. It went along the lines of: "Toil is the currency used ...
peterph's user avatar
  • 111
1 vote
0 answers
69 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 ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
  • 44.6k
1 vote
0 answers
41 views

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 ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
  • 44.6k
1 vote
0 answers
32 views

Notebook epigram referring to 'only death in the universe'

Camus says somewhere that there is only death in the universe. By 'death' he simply means physics (energy, matter). He is rejecting the metaphysics of a universal dualism: Life and Death. I believe ...
G Dugdale's user avatar
  • 139
1 vote
0 answers
344 views

Origin of the quote "Sadness is caused by intelligence"?

In social media (1)(2)(3), I have found: "Sadness is caused by intelligence, the more you understand certain things, the more you wish you didn't understand them." — Charles Bukowski. But yet ...
raf's user avatar
  • 111
1 vote
0 answers
27 views

Quote like "Learn the call of birds and you will never be alone" source?

I read this quote a few years ago and cannot remember the source. I could be misremembering it or combining two quotes together? I just took up birding and this quote is so true: there are not many ...
Happamatix's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
44 views

Quote about using accurate words (e.g. not to exaggerate beauty) to not wear down their meaning

Many years ago, I seem to recall, I read a quote that discouraged the use of superlative words for mundane events, arguing that then, when we found something truly superlative before us, we'd find ...
guest_user's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
30 views

What famous writer said, "to accurately (or precisely) say how things are is to be truly revolutionary?"

The extended version is something like this: "to accurately say how things are (or how the world is) is to be truly revolutionary, to say how things (or how the world) should be merely reactionary." ...
Matt's user avatar
  • 11
1 vote
0 answers
179 views

Who is the author of this quote about saying the right words on a mountaintop and changing the world?

I have a recollection of a quote I thought came from Heinrich Heine. My recollection of the quote is something like this: If you go up to the mountaintop and say the right words, the whole world ...
Mikael Jensen's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
64 views

Source for quote saying "why don't you want to die" or "why do you want to live forever"

I recently read a quote saying "why don't you want to die" or "why do you want to live forever". It must be an old book (antiquity). The author asked this to someone. I don't ...
Moe's user avatar
  • 19