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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56 views

Identify a Faust quote about being careful when calling upon bad spirits

As a comment on a disaster, someone quoted orally in German from Faust. They explained the quote as: one should be careful with calling upon bad spirits. The German verb "mahnen" was used. ...
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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 ...
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55 views

Why does Aristotle reckon that the secret to humor is surprise?

Supposedly, Aristotle said: The secret to humor is surprise. Why does Aristotle reckon that the secret to humor is surprise?
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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 ...
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What is the origin of a common Christmas tree quotation concerning an old Babylonish fable about an evergreen tree?

I originally asked this on Christianity.SE and later it was moved to Mythology.SE, but it remains unanswered. It is actually very easy to find a citation for the quotation's source, the problem is ...
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“Leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment”

The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing at the right place but to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment. I've seen this attributed to Dorothy Nevill and to ...
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385 views

What is the context and origin of this Dante quote?

Can someone explain what this quote means and give a little context? You shall find out how salt is the taste of another man's bread, and how hard is the way up and down another man's stairs. -- ...
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Quote source - “if memories could bleed, if dreams could scream”

we’re all killers. we’ve all killed parts of ourselves to survive. we’ve all got blood on our hands. something somewhere had to die so we could stay alive. if memories could bleed, if dreams could ...
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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 ...
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529 views

Ian McEwan's quote “No more magical realism” in Saturday

I read Ian McEwan's Saturday and remember a part where the daughter, who was into poetry, tried to get her father, a neurosurgeon, to read more books. She recommended South American writers like ...
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Water on a stone, wax on a stone: revolutionary war era/founding father quote

Paraphrasing, because I’m getting white-noised by google with results about removing candle wax from stone floors: Not as water dripping on a stone (rock?) where over time it weathers it away, but as ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Helen Keller quote about avoiding danger: context and meaning

I hope that's the right site to post this question. There's a famous quote of Helen Keller's: Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. The fearful are caught as often as ...
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Can someone help me find the 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 ...
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Where is the “unborable” quote in The Pale King?

I'm a big fan of The Pale King by David Foster Wallace. I remember a favorite quote somewhere in the text that goes something like the key to life is being unborable...and he met two such men in the ...
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42 views

Who said that when you know something, it is hard to pretend not to know?

There is a famous quote that I forget the reference. The saying is similar to "when you know something, it is hard to pretend not to know." A similar saying from Ludwig Wittgenstein is ...
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53 views

Looking for a famous quote by William Wordsworth probably relevant to the concept of the Anthropocene

I've talked to someone who studied English literature and the concept of Anthropocene recently, and the person quoted Wordsworth during our conversation. Unfortunately I can not remember the quote, ...
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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 ...
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Did Joyce “estimate” how many readers would understand Finnegans Wake?

I'm pretty sure I once (a long time ago) read a Joyce quote where he said that only twelve (or was it thirteen?) readers would ever fully understand Finnegans Wake. But I couldn't convince Google to ...
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101 views

Who is “Dao” in this quote from Laozi's Tao Te Ching?

I found the following quote here: The Dao hides in wordlessness. Only the Dao is well begun and well completed. -- Laozi, Dàodé Jīng / Tao Te Ching What is the exact meaning and context of this ...
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Where did Keats write “wrinkled brow and sneer of cold command”?

Face to Face with Hon. Henry Litton GBM CBM JP, Former Permanent Judge of the Court of Final Appeal | Hong Kong Lawyer A good judge is also humble – they “see the world as the common man and woman ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Where did Joseph Conrad praise Anatole France as an analyst of illusions?

The French Wikipedia article about Les dieux ont soif (The Gods Are Athirst), a novel by Anatole France, contains the following quote attributed to Joseph Conrad: « C’est un grand analyste d’...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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55 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 ...
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60 views

Source of the quote “Life is a balance between holding on and letting go” from Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Balkhī (Rumi)

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 ...
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A quote on failure and triumph attributed to Kierkegaard by Camus

In chapter 3 of his essay The Myth of Sisyphus / Le Mythe de Sisyphe, Camus discusses how several philosophers who have dealt with what he calls the absurd. One of these is Kierkegaard, of whom he ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Where did D. H. Lawrence say that (in his works) he is not concerned with character or personality?

Terry Eagleton's book How to Read Literature contains a chapter entitled "Character" which discusses various approaches toward "character" throughout the history of literature. One of the authors ...
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115 views

In which interview did Camus say that Meursault is the only Christ we deserved?

In two YouTube videos about Albert Camus's novel L'étranger / The Stranger, I have found the following quote, which supposedly comes from an interview from 1955: Meursault est le seul Christ que nous ...
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Did Swift really say, ‘Puns are disliked by none but those who can't make them’?

A recent question asked about the source of a quote about puns attributed to Edgar Allen Poe. @Rand al'Thor found out that the quote could be found in Poe's marginalia but that the idea was older. @...
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Where is the Poe quote “Of puns it has been said that those who most dislike them are those who are least able to utter them” from?

While researching an answer for the question What does Dupin mean about a seal formed of bread?, I was looking up material related to the author Edgar Allan Poe and his use of puns. I found this quote,...
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Origin of “All civilizations think they are witnessing the end of the world”

I once read a book that had this phrase and sadly I never bookmarked it. I don't remember the exact words but is the idea in general. Does someone know where does it come from?
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Looking for a source for a (Christian) metaphor about the soul being like a bird that flies through the house

I remember a beautiful quote about the soul being like a bird that flies through a house at night. Its entrance out of darkness through the first window is birth, and its exit through the second ...
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Does this quote by Martial really exist?

On Wikipedia I came across a quote by Tacitus which says: To ravage, to slaughter, to usurp under false titles, they call empire; and where they make a desert, they call it peace. From my ...
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Did Rumi actually say “Silence is the language of God; all else is poor translation”?

Silence is the language of God; all else is poor translation. I found this quote, like many, attributed to Rumi (one, two, three non-verifiable sources). Since Rumi quotes are notoriously often ...
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310 views

A quote supposedly by Jean de La Fontaine

So, my Latin textbook, Hereditas Linguae Latinae, tells me (in the lesson about deponent verbs) that Jean de La Fontaine wrote, at the end of his fable The Cock and the Jewel, a Latin saying Stulti ...
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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? ...
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Where did Whitehead say that there is no humour in the Bible?

The Philosophers' Magazine has a Twitter account for quotes. Today it posted the following quote: The total absence of humour from the Bible is one of the most singular things in all literature. ...
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Did Ezra Pound write something like “The word communicates the thought, the tone the emotions”?

In Italy it is often attributed to Ezra Pound the following quote without source: la parola comunica il pensiero, il tono le emozioni It translate more or less to "The word communicates the ...
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Source of Diderot quote about tools and ideas

In the German book Usability und UX kompakt by Michael Richter and Markus Flückiger (Springer, 2016, page 159), I found the following quote, which the authors attribute to Denis Diderot: Die einen, ...
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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 ...
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Looking for a quote from 1984 about the party's immortality vs personal mortality

What is the quote from 1984 where Winston tells O'Brien that O'Brien is mortal, and O'Brien responds that what matters is the party's immortality and not his own? It was during a sort of "ask me ...