[PW] ? Quotes from Famous Short Stories (Quotation Query #792)

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com
Wed Jan 24 12:08:29 PST 2018


Thanks for your thorough and meticulous investigation, Dennis.

On the topic of Lovecraft, Fred already has a well-known sentence from
the short story "The Call of Cthulhu" in "The Yale Book of
Quotations":

[Begin excerpt]
The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the
human mind to correlate all its contents.
[End excerpt]

That sentence is part of a longer passage that appears at the
beginning of the tale. The first two sentences are listed in "Science
Fiction Quotations: From the Inner Mind to the Outer Limits" edited by
Gary Westfahl. The full passage is listed in "Gaither's Dictionary of
Scientific Quotations" and on the Wikiquote webpage for Lovecraft.

[Begin excerpt]
The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the
human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island
of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not
meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its
own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the
piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying
vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we
shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the deadly light
into the peace and safety of a new dark age.
[End excerpt]

Each of the three sentences might function as an independent quotation.

The text above is from the hplovecraft.com website. I have not
verified it with hardcopy.
http://www.hplovecraft.com/writings/texts/fiction/cc.aspx

Garson

On Wed, Jan 24, 2018 at 1:51 PM, d-lien University of Minnesota
<d-lien at umn.edu> wrote:
> On 18 January, Garson posted:
>
> Jeff Prucher (on a different mailing list) responded
> to Fred by posting a quotation from H. P. Lovecraft. Following that
> avenue, here are two more quotations from Lovecraft.
>
> Year: November 1921
> Journal: The Wolverine
> Short Story: The Nameless City
> Author: H. P. Lovecraft
> Note: Excerpt is from version at hplovecraft.com. Metadata is from
> Wikipedia entry on "The Nameless City". This information must be
> independently verified.
> http://www.hplovecraft.com/writings/texts/fiction/nc.aspx
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Nameless_City
>
> [Begin excerpt]
> It was of this place that Abdul Alhazred the mad poet dreamed on the
> night before he sang his unexplainable couplet:
> "That is not dead which can eternal lie,
> And with strange aeons even death may die."
> [End excerpt]
>
> *******************
> A couple of points:
>
> Arguably, the first (sort-of) publication of "The Nameless City" was
> in the June 1921 issue of THE TRANSATLANTIC CIRCULAR, described by S.
> T. Joshi on p212 of the first (one volume) edition of his H.P.
> LOVECRAFT: A LIFE (1996) as "a loose organisation of amateur
> journalists in England and the United States who exchanged stories and
> poems in manuscript and criticized them."  It's not clear to me if
> this means a single copy of a work would be sent around round-robin
> style to all members, or if a small number of copies would be produced
> and sent all at once to each member.  I suspect the former, if only
> because making multiple copies back in the 1920s was a laborious
> process (beyond an original typescript and perhaps a carbon or two at
> the same time).  Robert E. Howard was for a time in a similar
> organization, THE JUNTA, and my memory of reading about same was that
> was a "single copy circulated round robin style" arrangement, so
> likely THE TRANSATLANTIC CIRCULAR was the same.  If so, it would take
> a great stretch of definition to think of it as "publication," but I
> mention the possibility for what it's worth.
>
> Secondly, I've never seen THE WOLVERINE (or any of the other tiny
> amateur journalism publications of the period in which HPL appeared),
> but I suspect only a few dozen copies of a given issue would have been
> published (mimeographed, from the look of a cover for same findable
> online), and I doubt if more than a tiny handful of copies of this
> issue are still in existence.  WorldCat shows no holdings
> (confusingly, there are other Michigan-based serials called THE
> WOLVERINE, but they are school newsletters etc. and not the Lawson
> item).  But I would be surprised if the Lovecraft special collection
> at Brown University in Providence didn't have a copy.
>
> Thirdly, failing access to THE WOLVERINE, the next publication of "The
> Nameless City" (and the first one that could be called even
> semi-professional, as opposed to the amateur press items) was in the
> first and only issue of FANCIFUL TALES OF SPACE AND TIME, published
> and edited by Wilson Sherpher and Donald A. Wandrei in New York city
> and dated "Fall 1936" -- shortly before Lovecraft's death (Joshi on
> p.620 says that HPL sent the story to them for publication, but he
> doesn't indicate if that means he sent the original typed copy, some
> sort of further copy, or the issue of THE WOLVERINE in which it had
> appeared).
>
> I don't have an original copy of FANCIFUL TALES, but in 1977 Lovecraft
> scholar Marc A. Michaud published an "exact facsimile" from a copy
> owned by Ed Wood, in an edition of 750, with the blessing of Wollheim,
> and I do have a copy of that facsimile.
>
> All of which is a long leadin to the suggestion that, if no one is
> able to consult the relevant WOLVERINE issue, its FANCIFUL TALES
> reprint may be as close as we'll get.  In that, the story appears on
> pp. 5-18 inclusive, and the quote shows up twice:
>
> p6
> It was of this place that Abdul Alhazred the mad poet dreamed on the
> night before he sang his unexplainable couplet:
>
>      "That is not dead which can etenal lie,
>        And with strange aeons even death may die.'
>
> notes: the couplet is indented some 12 spaces from the left margin of the page
>  there is a blank line between the couplet and the text sentence above it
>  the: etenal  is sic (an obvious typo for  eternal)
>  and the last word is followed by a single quote mark, though I assume
> this again was an error for an intended double quote
>
>
> and on p18
>
> Finally reason must have wholly snapped; for I fell to babbling over
> and over that unexplainable couplet of the mad Abdul Alhazred, who
> dreamed of the nameless city:
>
>      "That is not dead which can eternal lie,
>      "And with strange aeons even death may die."
>
> notes:  again, the couplet is indented, and there is a blank line above it
> this time, the word  eternal  is spelled correctly
> a double quote mark appears before start of second line of the
> couplet, and that line is concluded with a double quote instead of the
> previous single quote
>
> To sum: the couplet proper appears twice; punctuation varies but the
> wording is the same (with the exception of the obvious typo for the
> word eternal in the first version)
>
>
> Dennis Lien / d-lien at umn.edu
>
>
>
>
>
>
> On Fri, Jan 19, 2018 at 9:07 AM, Mark Halpern <markhalpern at sbcglobal.net> wrote:
>> the answer, obviously, to the question "who's knocking?" is the last woman.
>>
>>     On Friday, January 19, 2018 12:32 AM, Bill Klemens <williamklemens at gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>>
>>  I wrote that - "Roland MacGruder, Freelance writer" - Calvin Trillin
>>
>> On Thu, Jan 18, 2018 at 10:21 AM, d-lien University of Minnesota <
>> d-lien at umn.edu> wrote:
>>
>>> Garson also asked about
>>> Periodical: Star Science Fiction Stories No. 1
>>> Short Story: The Nine Billion Names of God
>>> Author: Arthur C. Clarke
>>> Note: I haven't verified this with hardcopy. This data is from Wikipedia.
>>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Nine_Billion_Names_of_God
>>>
>>> [Begin excerpt]
>>> Overhead, without any fuss, the stars were going out.
>>> [End excerpt]
>>>
>>> ***************
>>> STAR was a original anthology (book) series, not a periodical in the
>>> usual sense.  Frederik Pohl was the editor and Ballantine Books the
>>> publisher.  In its early days, they published hc and mass market pb
>>> editions of their works at the same time (and I assume from the same
>>> plates), so either should work for verifying first appearance.
>>>
>>> However, my copy is of the third printing of the pb, from July 1961.
>>> According to the copyright information inside, the first printing was
>>> February 1953 and official publication date was March 1953.
>>>
>>> I'm morally certain that no changes were made between the first and
>>> third (or later) printings, except in the case of the anthology title
>>> -- the "#1" was a later addition; it was originally just STAR SCIENCE
>>> FICTION STORIES
>>>
>>> http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/title.cgi?35067
>>>
>>> but obviously it would be best to find a 1953 copy to be sure.  In my
>>> 1961 printing, the line is just as you have it: it's the last line of
>>> the story, which in turn is the last story in the anthology, and it
>>> appears on page 202.
>>>
>>> Dennis Lien / d-lien at umn.edu
>>>
>>>
>>> On Wed, Jan 17, 2018 at 4:23 PM, ADSGarson O'Toole
>>> <adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> > Here is a line from another story in Raymond Carver's "Cathedral"
>>> > collection followed lines from two well-regarded science fiction
>>> > stories.
>>> >
>>> > Year: 1983
>>> > Short Story: A Small, Good Thing
>>> > Collection: Cathedral
>>> > Author: Raymond Carver
>>> > Note: I haven't verified this with hardcopy. This quotation is in the
>>> > 18th edition of Bartlett's Familiar Quotations. In the original story
>>> > I think the text is between quotation marks and "he said" is appended.
>>> >
>>> > [Begin excerpt]
>>> > You have to eat and keep going. Eating is a small, good thing in a
>>> > time like this.
>>> > [End excerpt]
>>> >
>>> >
>>> > Year: 1953
>>> > Periodical: Star Science Fiction Stories No. 1
>>> > Short Story: The Nine Billion Names of God
>>> > Author: Arthur C. Clarke
>>> > Note: I haven't verified this with hardcopy. This data is from Wikipedia.
>>> > https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Nine_Billion_Names_of_God
>>> >
>>> > [Begin excerpt]
>>> > Overhead, without any fuss, the stars were going out.
>>> > [End excerpt]
>>> >
>>> >
>>> > Date: December 1948
>>> > Short Story: Knock
>>> > Author: Fredric Brown
>>> > Periodical: Thrilling Wonder Stories
>>> > Note: I haven't verified this with hardcopy. This data is from Wikipedia.
>>> > https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knock_(short_story)
>>> >
>>> > [Begin excerpt]
>>> > The last man on Earth sat alone in a room. There was a knock on the
>>> door...
>>> > [End excerpt]
>>> >
>>> > Garson
>>> >
>>> > On Wed, Jan 17, 2018 at 1:26 PM, Shapiro, Fred <fred.shapiro at yale.edu>
>>> wrote:
>>> >> Quotation dictionaries don't usually include many quotations from short
>>> stories, but I'm trying to do so in my upcoming revised edition.  Can
>>> anyone point me to crucial or particularly memorable quotes from any of
>>> these famous short stories:
>>> >>
>>> >>
>>> >> Anton Chekhov, "The Bet"
>>> >>
>>> >> Joyce Carol Oates, "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?"
>>> >>
>>> >> Raymond Carver, "Cathedral"
>>> >>
>>> >>
>>> >> Or, for that matter, I would welcome any suggestions of crucial or
>>> particularly memorable quotes from other short stories as well.
>>> >>
>>> >> Fred Shapiro
>>> >>
>>> >>
>>> >> _______________________________________________
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>>> _______________________________________________
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>>>
>>>
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>>
>>
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