[PW] ? Quote About Wagner's Music (Quotation Query #755)

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com
Sun Nov 20 11:28:57 PST 2016

Barry Popik has a valuable entry on the topic here:


The newspapers.com database has some slightly earlier citations:

The "classical music" variant in "Bill Nye's Bureau" article here:

The Shippensburg Chronicle
Shippensburg, Pennsylvania
Thursday, September 1, 1887 - Page 4

The "Wagner's music" variant here:

The Indianapolis News
Indianapolis, Indiana
Friday, November 22, 1889 - Page 2

I will share more details when I have a chance. Alternatively, someone
may antedate these citations.


On Sun, Nov 20, 2016 at 1:52 PM, John Cowan <cowan at ccil.org> wrote:
> On Sun, Nov 20, 2016 at 1:45 PM, Shapiro, Fred <fred.shapiro at yale.edu>
> wrote:
> In the Yale Book of Quotations I cite "Wagner's music is better than it
>> sounds" to Bill Nye, quoted in Mark Twain's Autobiography.
> Note that Nye, as reported by Twain, prefixed the famous words with the
> significant
> "I have been told that", suggesting that the idea was already a trope at
> the time.
> --
> John Cowan          http://vrici.lojban.org/~cowan        cowan at ccil.org
> Any sufficiently-complicated C or Fortran program contains an ad-hoc,
> informally-specified bug-ridden slow implementation of half of Common Lisp.
>         --Greenspun's Tenth Rule of Programming (rules 1-9 are unknown)
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