Question of the Week #20: Potent Quotables
Welcome to Question of the Week! We decided to number our Questions of the Week so that they don't seem out-of-date--we hope you'll share your answers to any Question of the Week at any time.
This week's question was suggested by @starshy926 (muchos gracias!):
Which book or line do you think of or quote most often? Or, which book, character, or plot comes to mind most often as you go through life?
You'll see my response below. How about you? (@femmebot, you said you had an answer for this already, so I'm looking at you!)
I think mine must be "Unjust--unjust!" from Jane Eyre. Early in the book, Jane is treated cruelly by her aunt. I think everyone knows what it feels like to be reprimanded while the person who deserves punishment escapes it.
Here's some of the passage that includes the phrase:
"Why was I always suffering, always browbeaten, always accused, forever condemned? Why could I never please? ...I dared commit no fault: I strove to fulfil every duty; and I was termed naughty and tiresome, sullen and sneaking, from morning to noon, and from noon to night. My head still ached and bled with the blow and fall I had received: no one had reproved John for wantonly striking me; and because I had turned against him to avert farther irrational violence, I was loaded with general opprobrium. 'Unjust--unjust!'"
Apr 6, 2009 12:25 pm
by MaggieH (admin)
I hope that you will possess yourselves of money enough to travel and to idle, to contemplate the future or the past of the world, to dream over books and loiter at street corners and let the line of thought dip deep into the stream.
- A Room of One's Own, Virginia Woolf
Apr 6, 2009 2:15 pm
"I could hear my watch whenever the car stopped, but not often they were already eating 'Who would play a' Eating the business of eating inside of you space too space and time confused Stomach saying noon brain saying eat oclock All right I wonder what time it is what of it. People were getting out. The trolley didn't stop so often now, emptied by eating."
-The Sound and the Fury, William Faulkner
Apr 6, 2009 6:07 pm
"There are many things that we would throw away if we were not afraid that others might pick them up." Oscar Wilde from The Picture of Dorian Gray
Apr 7, 2009 2:36 am
"T.A.N.S.T.a.a.F.L." From Robert Heinlein "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress". There is cost to everything and you may not expect me to carry you. I may choose to but the choice is mine because I PAID for it. Stands for "There Ain't No Such Thing as a Free Lunch". Inscribed on the flag of the "Independent Moon". Read the book!
Apr 8, 2009 12:08 am
All the world's a stage, and all the men and woment merely players . . .
from Shakespeare's As You Like It, Act II, Scene VII, beginning with line 149
It features life from infant to the elderly.
Apr 8, 2009 10:17 am
Dostoevsky once said, "Much unhappiness has come into the world because of things left unsaid." - I agree. Lily Tomlin wrote in her first book, "No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up." I try not to feel like this too often. Emo Philips, another comedian has also written, "Some days it just doesn't seem worth it to chew through the leather straps..." While I can empathize with Emo, I also try not to feel like this too often, but I do love both these quotes.
Apr 8, 2009 2:30 pm
I think of something froma book I've read a bit of: Jeanette Winterson's "Written on the Body." There's a brief passage about someone you love who leaves your life (death, break-up, etc). And how that leaving reduces you to the baffled logic of a child. The quote: "And where are you?"
Apr 9, 2009 9:47 am
I also think of "Our Town": "They don't understand, do they?"
Apr 9, 2009 9:48 am
It's so interesting to see what folks remember from some of their favorite authors or books. I've definitely added some books to my list based on your responses!
Apr 9, 2009 12:57 pm
by MaggieH (admin)
"This will all end in tears." Marvin
Apr 9, 2009 9:27 pm
The King James Bible followed by Shakespeare.
Apr 10, 2009 12:42 am
Currently, especially since I'm read his novel right now, I quote Oscar Wilde the most.
Apr 10, 2009 11:12 pm
Brevity is the soul of wit. Shakespeare
Says so much !!
Apr 11, 2009 9:04 pm
This is a great question! I love great quotations -- especially "great endings" of books. Stephen King has a number of those. There's a great line near the end of "Christine" about "...his unending fury" (which makes sense if you've read the book!).
I love, from "The Sun Also Rises," by Hemingway, when the Lady Brett ponders that they could have been "good together," and Jake's reply: "Yes," I said. "Isn't it pretty to think so?"
And there's a whole wonderful passage in "The Return of the King" by Tolkien when the troops of the horselords from Rohan arrive on the battlefields of Gondor just when all hope seems lost. The people of Gondor hear "Great horns of the North, wildly blowing," and they know that "Rohan had come at last." The full paragraph is stirring and wonderful.
Apr 12, 2009 11:15 pm
"Shall I project a world?" Oedpia Maas; The Crying of Lot 49 (Thomas Pynchon)
Apr 14, 2009 1:59 pm
"Hard work is a prison sentence only if it does not have meaning."
- Malcolm Gladwell
Apr 14, 2009 2:07 pm
I quote books and movies all the time (no idea why, just stuck in my head)...the first that came to mind today was actually from Harry Potter (Order of the Phoenix if I remember correctly) where Hermione says, "Just because you've got the emotional range of a teaspoon doesn't mean we all have!" For some reason this line cracks me up!
Apr 20, 2009 1:27 pm
Casablanca. So many different lines "Here's looking at you, kid." "This could be the start of a beautiful freindship", "We'll always have Paris", etc. Granted I also mis-quote things as I often as I get them correct.
Apr 20, 2009 3:49 pm
The book I quote from most often is "The Holy Bible," the most wonderful and complete book ever written, about the only Perfect Person who ever lived: The Lord Jesus Christ. If anyone is not familiar with this book, I suggest you start with the Gospel of John in the New Testament. It is probably the best way to get to know the Author. Read Proverbs and James for practical advice on daily living. Read the entire New Testament before the Old Testament, and may God bless you richly.
Apr 22, 2009 4:39 pm
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
"One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes."
"I need to put up with two or three caterpillars if I want to get to know the butterflies."
"Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves, and it is exhausting for children to have to provide explanations over and over again."
Apr 22, 2009 8:48 pm
"It was the truth, whether it really happened or not" (Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest)
"We've had some wonderful times together, Idrusa. But then you had to get ideas about marriage, children, cooking pasta for me and so on" (Corti, Ortranto)
Apr 22, 2009 9:15 pm
"I dare say you haven't had much practice. When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” - the Queen (Carroll, Alice in Wonderland)
Apr 22, 2009 9:17 pm
If Life is a rollercoaster than motherhood is the whole theme park!
Apr 23, 2009 6:40 pm
"I can resist anything except temptation." - Oscar Wilde
Apr 23, 2009 6:48 pm
First, I have a mouth like a sailor, so these are probably my most-quoted: Heathers -- "F*** me gently with a chainsaw," and Ginsberg's "America" -- "America/Go f*** yourself with your atom bomb." Others: Anne Sexton, from "With Mercy For The Greedy" --"My friend, my friend, I was born/ doing reference work in sin, and born/ confessing it. This is what poems are:/with mercy/ for the greedy,/ they are the tongue's wrangle,/ the world's pottage, the rat's star." Again, Sexton, from "Live" -- "I say Live, Live because of the sun,/the dream, the excitable gift." Lots from Bret Easton Ellis' "Less Than Zero" -- "Disappear Here," "People are afraid to merge," etc. There are lots more, lots better, but I can't think of the exact phrasing at the moment. And lyrics, constantly quoting lyrics. Etc.
Apr 24, 2009 8:32 am
"As you wish" from The Princess Bride...
most of the quotes i use come from songs rather than books i find
Apr 24, 2009 10:25 am
Its easier to be critical than correct. Benjamin Disraeli
May 26, 2009 12:44 pm
I've just recently finished The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, and here are some good quotes I garnered from it:
"The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, and the mark of the mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one" (Ch. 24, reportedly said by psychoanalyst Wilhelm Stekel)
"Something [that] an academic education will do for you. If you go along with it any considerable distance, it'll begin to give you an idea what size mind you have. What it'll fit and, maybe, what it won't... You'll begin to know your true measurements and dress your mind accordingly" (Ch. 24, Mr. Antolini)
May 26, 2009 9:08 pm
Clark Gable: " Do you write Mr Faulkner?"
Faulkner: "Yes Mr Gable. What do you do?"
May 27, 2009 1:22 am
I can remember the sentence's means,but I can't say it entirely:"Each family has the same happiness,but the adversity is different."-Anna Karenina
May 27, 2009 1:31 am
If you really love quotes, its worth checking www.drmardy.com for his free once a week newsletter on quotes.
Jun 2, 2009 1:22 pm
Edward Gibbon. "The Decline & Fall of The Roman Empire">
My English text is chaste, and all licentious passages are left in the obscurity of a learned language".
Jun 2, 2009 11:56 pm
"Only habit of persistent work can make one continually content; it produces opium that numbs the soul."
Jun 4, 2009 2:37 am
"The art of newspaper paragraphing is to stroke a platitude until it purrs like an epigram".
Jun 9, 2009 4:26 am
"The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there." The Go Between - L.P. Hartley
Jun 9, 2009 10:46 am
"I enjoy talking to you. Your mind appeals to me. It resembles my own mind except that you happen to be insane."
1984, George Orwell
"Whenever you feel like criticizing any one," he told me, "just
remember that all the people in this world haven't had the advantages
that you've had."
The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald
Jun 16, 2009 9:53 pm
C. S. Lewis (The Four Loves) packs such a PUNCH with these lines... they burn with conviction.
"There is no safe investment. To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket — safe, dark, motionless, airless — it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell."
Aug 25, 2011 11:47 am