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PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2002 7:39 am 
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I was wondering if anyone (especially mgm with your vast resources) has a source for a line attributed to George Bernard Shaw:
The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it.
http://www.quotationspage.com/quotes/Ge ... rd_Shaw/21


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2002 5:39 am 
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I tried a search through most of Shaw's work from Project Gutenberg and found nothing of the sort. That doesn't mean it's wrong but it's not a good sign. I suspect I need to do some work on the Shaw quotes like I did with Wilde.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2002 6:14 am 
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Apparently The Portable Bernard Shaw (1977) included the quote, but did not source it.
http://www.conservativeforum.org/authquot.asp?ID=54

This person claims:
I asked if he had heard George Bernard Shaw's quip, "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." This brought a smile to his face, and he later asked if I could provide a citation. Unfortunately, I could not - it was just something I had heard and remembered - but today it only takes a quick search of Google.com to find many sources for Shaw's remark.
http://www.villagevoice.com/issues/0122/cotts.php

I wonder how he searched for it?

About the only time I could see Shaw using the word cynicism was in:

"The glimpses I have had of the seamy side of life during the last few months have made me cynical; but I should not have brought my cynicism here--least of all into your presence..."
~from Arms and the Man, 1894
by George Bernard Shaw


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2002 7:02 am 
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John Tanner, the hero of Shaw's "Man and Superman," is called cynical several times in the play, and the sentiment of the quote certainly applies to him. But those exact words are never spoken in the play.

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