Saturday, 31 January 2015

Quoting authors

Gary and I do quite a few quizzes. Recently a question began, 'Which author is quoted as saying, 'I can resist anything but temptation'?' I got it right. Of course I did. Oscar Wilde is always the answer to that type of question.

Now I don't dispute he wrote those words and I'm prepared to accept it may be an idea he had sympathy with, but he didn't really say it, did he? His character did. The same is true of many Oscar Wilde quotes.

Other authors too have their character's words directly attributed to them. Is this fair? Must we be held to account for everything our bad guys say and do, even if we've punished them ourselves or had them see the light by the end of the final chapter?

Something Oscar Wilde reputedly said himself, rather than via a character was during a customs check. 'I have nothing to declare but my genius'.  I can't use that one myself*, so here's a picture of me not resisting temptation.

*as I'm sooooo much more complex ;-)

Do you have any favourite, or funny, literary quotes?

18 comments:

  1. None from me. (they don't stick in my head). Nice nail color

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    1. Thanks, Mac. A friend of mine calls it seasick green.

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  2. Thousands of good literary quotes, Patsy.
    You make an insightful point. Why do people believe that the character is the writer? I believe that when the character feels real to the reader, the reader starts to believe that the writer is the character. I know this from a personal experience in my writing life.

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    1. I've had people make assumptions about me based on things my characters do, Julia.

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  3. I have other fish to fry, said Cervantes in Don Quixote. Or said Don Quixote through Cervantes.

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  4. I like Oscar Wilde quotes, though don't know which are his, or his characters. But I do like this one: "Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.” :D

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    1. Oh yes, that's a good un, Carol. Not quite the same but I do like 'misunderstnding' insults and taking them as compliments.

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  5. I like Shakespeare quotes Patsy, like...all the worlds a stage and we are merely players or something that means the same. That's a fab picture of you. So colourful, and I want those glasses.

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    1. I'm sure you've got the sense of it there, Suzy - and it does feel that way at times.

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  6. "Ah, but a man's reach should be beyond his grasp, or what's a heaven for?" (Browning). I love this, tho I may not have got it quite right here.

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    1. I hadn't heard that one, Frances but I like it a lot.

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  7. One of my favourite quotes.

    The Scariest Moment Is Just before You Start - Stephen King

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    1. Not sure I agree with him, Maria but it's probably true for some.

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  8. I love O. W. quotes - but that was an interesting way of looking at them, Patsy.

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    1. He and/or his characters said some interesting things, Rosemary.

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  9. I love Oscar Wilde quotes, but you're quite right--it's not precisely fair to attribute a sentiment to him that may only have applied to his character. (Though I suspect the one about temptation is likely spot on for him, too.)

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    1. Quite a few do seem as though he probably agreed with his characters ... or do we just think we know something of his personality because of his writing?

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Thanks so much for commenting!