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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Origins of quote: "Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup."

I've grown up loving the quote "Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup." and I've been searching around to find out where it came from (with only a ...
Andrew Bickerton's user avatar
26 votes
4 answers
6k views

Story where professor claims a step in a proof "is obvious" when it is far from obvious

I picked up a funny story about a professor who stated that something was "obvious" after taking a long time to think about it: the story on the Wiktionary user page of 'DCDuring': A ...
equin0x80's user avatar
  • 457
19 votes
1 answer
2k views

Where does this Federico Garcia Lorca quote come from? Is it a fake?

The quote is the following: Besides black art, there is only automation and mechanization. I ran into this quote in a book named Site Reliability Engineering: How Google Runs Production Systems ...
matiascelasco's user avatar
19 votes
1 answer
9k 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". ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
  • 72.6k
19 votes
1 answer
32k views

Who first said this quote about how we only sleep safely because "rough men stand ready" to fight on our behalf?

One of my favorite quotes is Churchill's "We sleep safely at night because rough men stand ready to visit violence on those who would harm us." But recently I found out that Orwell was attributed ...
user avatar
16 votes
2 answers
1k views

Origin of “Good books are the warehouses of ideas”, attributed to H. G. Wells on commemorative £2 coin?

The UK’s Royal Mint announced in January 2021 a commemorative £2 coin “Celebrating the Life and Work of H. G. Wells”. The coin design (depicted below) suggests that no-one involved in the project had ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
  • 56.4k
16 votes
0 answers
198 views

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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15 votes
1 answer
5k views

Where did Asimov say this quote, about women becoming lawyers vs doctors or engineers because math was not required?

On the TvTropes page "Everybody Hates Mathematics", in the section of examples from "Real Life", there appears the following excerpt: Isaac Asimov once wrote in an editorial that ...
SuspiciousGarbage's user avatar
14 votes
2 answers
3k views

What is the source of "You can achieve a lot with hate, but even more with love" (Shakespeare?)

I have seen a postcard with a quote "You can achieve a lot with hate, but even more with love", signed "Shakespeare", in a French bookshop. The quote is not exact, because I have translated it back ...
Yulia V's user avatar
  • 335
14 votes
1 answer
2k views

Did Philip Larkin use a swearword while quoting from Pym's Excellent Women?

In a letter to Barbara Pym dated 18 July 1971, Philip Larkin allegedly wrote: I reread Excellent Women before coming away—what a marvellous set of characters it contains! Sometimes it's hard to ...
verbose's user avatar
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14 votes
1 answer
3k views

Source of quote: "Speaking the truth that somebody wants you not to publish is journalism. Everything else is marketing."

Heard from a BitCoin motivational speaker: Oscar Wilde said, "Speaking the truth that somebody wants you not to publish is journalism. Everything else is marketing." However, we all know ...
Quuxplusone's user avatar
13 votes
1 answer
797 views

Original Russian text of this review of Crime and Punishment

In the introduction to Constance Garnett's translation of Crime and Punishment, she quotes this Russian critic: In the words of a Russian critic, who seeks to explain the feeling inspired by ...
Isa's user avatar
  • 233
12 votes
1 answer
5k views

Does Don Quijote in fact say "Facts are the enemy of truth"?

I recall a quote of the sort "Facts are the enemy of truth" attributed to Miguel de Cervantes in his book Don Quijote de la Mancha. However, I could not find the quote in the book by ...
Jannik Pitt's user avatar
12 votes
1 answer
1k views

Source of quote about businessmen conspiring when they meet

I'm trying to find the source of a quotation, which goes something like, "when two businessmen meet, they will naturally conspire to create a consortium against the interests of a third". ...
user254694's user avatar
12 votes
1 answer
2k views

Is the opening quote in Michael Crichton’s “Airframe” real or fictional?

Michael Crichton’s 1996 novel “Airframe” opens with two quotations, one of which reads: The irony of the Information Age is that it has given new respectability to uninformed opinion. This is ...
user149408's user avatar
11 votes
3 answers
7k views

"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 ...
Pascal's user avatar
  • 119
10 votes
2 answers
2k views

What did Charles Dickens say about genius and pain?

While reading Somerset Maugham's Cakes and Ale, I came across this quote (emphasis mine): ...Charles Dickens in an after-dinner speech had stated that genius was an infinite capacity for taking ...
user avatar
10 votes
1 answer
2k views

Did Stevenson really claim to have been inspired by brownies?

Jorge Luis Borges claims, in his Book of Imaginary Beings, that the author Robert Louis Stevenson attributed some of the stranger ideas in his writing to fantastical creatures such as brownies who ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
  • 72.6k
10 votes
1 answer
591 views

What is the source of this poem/song Captain Hastings quotes in Agatha Christie's "The Market Basing Mystery"?

Agatha Christie's short story "The Market Basing Mystery," narrated by Hercule Poirot's companion Captain Arthur Hastings, includes the following: "This is the life," said Japp. &...
verbose's user avatar
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10 votes
1 answer
2k views

Who was the poet who said something like "Now only God knows (what I meant to say in that poem)"

I remember having an amazing teacher of literature who used to tell us about a symbolist poet (most probably British) who once said something like: "When I wrote this poem, only God and I knew what it ...
Gustavson's user avatar
  • 461
9 votes
1 answer
2k views

"There is only one thing that I dread: not to be worthy of my sufferings" — where does this Dostoyevsky quote come from?

I read Viktor Frankl's Man's Search for Meaning and he quoted Fyodor Dostoevsky as follows: Dostoevski said once, "There is only one thing that I dread: not to be worthy of my sufferings." ...
Steven Creech's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
351 views

What is the source of the quote "Robust grass endures mighty winds..."?

To those familiar with Shakespeare, do you know where this phrase comes from? Robust grass endures mighty winds; loyal ministers emerge through ordeal
peter5's user avatar
  • 83
8 votes
2 answers
446 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 ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
  • 72.6k
8 votes
1 answer
668 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 ...
Keverly's user avatar
  • 183
8 votes
1 answer
3k views

Origin of "The bells! The bells!" quote

The quote "The bells! The bells!" is often associated with Quasimodo from The Hunchback of Notre-Dame by Victor Hugo, but I can't find any source to actually corroborate that. It doesn't ...
Chris's user avatar
  • 183
8 votes
2 answers
408 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. ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
  • 56.4k
8 votes
1 answer
447 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 ...
Yulia V's user avatar
  • 335
8 votes
4 answers
5k views

What did Pope intend to say by "Whatever is, is right"?

What did Pope intend to say by "Whatever is, is right"? Source: The Well-Educated Mind by Susan Wise Bauer (2nd edition, 2016), p. 86, middle.   Related to this is one final question: What ...
user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
6k 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 ...
Andrey Bienkowski's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
330 views

Where did Camus define "the novel as the place where the human being is abandoned to other human beings"?

Albert Camus once defined the novel as the place where the human being is abandoned to other human beings. The plague novel is the place where all human beings abandon all other human beings. Unlike ...
Ivie's user avatar
  • 93
8 votes
1 answer
301 views

Where did Orwell ask whether British democracy would end through a Fascist takeover or by a Socialist revolution?

The Wikipedia article about Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighthy-Four contains the following statement: During World War II, Orwell believed that British democracy as it existed before 1939 would not ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
  • 44.6k
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
  • 72.6k
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
2 answers
10k 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 ...
311411's user avatar
  • 181
7 votes
2 answers
2k views

What is the background of the epigram "I'm not a nitpicker nor a nitpicker's son, but I'll pick your nits 'til the nitpicker comes"?

I've known of the saying "I'm not a nitpicker nor a nitpicker's son, but I'll pick your nits 'til the nitpicker comes" since I was young, and so have the local county librarians. Where does ...
Kathleen's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
3k views

“Most of the trouble in the world is caused by people wanting to be important.” Is this a genuine TS Eliot quote?

Most of the trouble in the world is caused by people wanting to be important. This quote has been attributed to TS Eliot, but I can't find any sources for it outside lists of inspirational quotes, ...
Ecstatic blender boogie's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
400 views

What was the exact wording from Ivanhoe of this advice on how to free yourself from slavery?

All you need to free yourself from slavery is a couple of pints of beer I read Ivanhoe for the first time translated into Spanish, and am having a heck of time finding the material in any English ...
oliver's user avatar
  • 71
7 votes
1 answer
6k views

Where do I find Edmund Wilson's quote "No two persons ever read the same book?"

The internet seems crazy about this quote, but nobody reports a reliable source. Where was it originally written or spoken? (I.e., which book, interview, or essay?)
Antonio's user avatar
  • 181
7 votes
1 answer
1k views

Where did Orwell complain about exaggerated praise in reviews of mediocre books?

I am trying to locate a passage in which the author writes about the difficulty of praising books. He notes that praise has become so inflated that it's almost impossible to convey that a book is ...
user697473's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
2k views

Looking for a quote: "It may be true that every man has his price but there is not enough gold in the world to pay mine"

I'm looking for a quote that goes along the lines of "It may be true that every man has his price but there is not enough gold in the world to pay mine" I'm looking for the exact quote and who ...
user3362964's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
113 views

Quote from Chekhov about a person who does not answer a letter

On the Internet, one often comes across, in different versions, Chekhov's statement that a person who does not answer a letter is like a person who rejects a hand extended to him for a handshake. ...
ollazarev's user avatar
  • 173
7 votes
2 answers
4k views

Did Camus ever say “Always go too far, because that's where you'll find the truth”?

This statement has been attributed to Albert Camus in various places on the internet. For example, this one: However, his Wikiquote page doesn't contain this quote. So did he actually say it? If he ...
Ooker's user avatar
  • 457
7 votes
1 answer
5k views

Who said this quote? Napoleon Bonaparte or Theodore Roosevelt?

Courage isn't having the strength to go on - it is going on when you don't have strength. Who said this quote? Napoleon Bonaparte or Theodore Roosevelt?
Nathan's user avatar
  • 71
7 votes
2 answers
4k views

Where did the Robert Frost Quote "If we couldn't laugh, we would all go insane" come from?

I have found numerous sources that attribute the quote "If we couldn't laugh we would all go insane" to Robert Frost but for the life of me, I cannot find when / where he actually said / wrote it.
librariman's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
361 views

What are the lines in the Bhagavad Gita that Sandip is alluding to?

Rabindranath Tagore's novel 1916 The Home and the World consists of chapters told from the point of view of varying characters. One of these is Sandip, who is a militant nationalist and an active ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
  • 44.6k
7 votes
1 answer
186 views

Looking for an Aeschylus quote mistranslated from Polish

I am working through a book of poetry by Tadeusz Miciński, a Polish writer who was active toward the end of the 19th century. The book is called "W mroku gwiazd" or "In the Twilight of the Stars" and ...
Nathaniel D. Hoffman's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
340 views

Federico García Lorca quote: "I'm a capitalist and a socialist and a communist and an anarchist and a monarchist"

I remember very well that I was reading somewhere or I've seen it on the TV that Federico García Lorca said something like "I'm a capitalist and a socialist and a communist and an anarchist and a ...
Joe Jobs's user avatar
  • 227
7 votes
1 answer
263 views

Did Eliezer Yudkowsky read the original Harry Potter books?

This question has been asked on Reddit but without getting any properly sourced answer. Apparently there is a rumour on the internet that Eliezer Yudkowsky, author of the Harry Potter fan fiction ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
  • 72.6k
7 votes
1 answer
11k views

Who wrote a specific poem in the movie 'Dead Poets Society'?

Who wrote "Show me the heart unfettered by foolish dreams…And I'll show you a happy man." ? It was spoken by George McAllister (=the character name of the Latin teacher "the Realist" in Dead Poets ...
MOLAP's user avatar
  • 303
7 votes
1 answer
266 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 ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
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