I think this is the thread from the previous forum
http://220.127.116.11/search?q=cache:vA ... n&start=14
-- today's quotation attributed to cummings
Posted by Luna on 02-24-01 07:52 AM
Today's quotation is attributed to e.e. cummings, but I find this exact quotation attributed to Juan Ramon Jimenez in the commemorative edition of Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 published by Ballantine Books. Bradbury's source is not given, but the copyright of F451 is 1953. What is the source for the e.e. cummings quotation?
Posted by Luna on 03-17-01 07:18 AM
I've just realized there is nothing in my original post to identify the quotation. It was "If they give you ruled paper, write the other way." On this site, it was attributed to e.e. cummings, but Ray Bradbury prefaces Fahrenheit 451 with this quotation and attributes it to Juan Ramon Jimenez. I would be interested in knowing the date and source of the attribution to e.e. cummings.
Posted by mgm on 04-05-01 07:06 PM
I'm not sure where I got that one, but I'll look it up and see what I can find out. I have a suspicion that Bradbury is correct - usually publishers won't let you use a quote in print unless you do a bit of research to verify it.
Michael Moncur (mgm)
Owner and Maintainer, The Quotations Page
Posted by Luna on 04-06-01 05:51 PM
Thanks -- now I'm curious to find out who Juan Ramon Jimenez is.
Posted by Phaedrus on 04-07-01 06:13 AM
Jimenez (1881-1958)was born in Spain but lived in Puert Rico. He won the Nobel prize for Literature in 1956 for his poetry. He worked for several years as an editor of literary journals.
Posted by Luna on 06-24-01 12:04 PM
My quest for the original source of this quotation continues to be interesting. Over 25 Web sites/pages, 10 of them devoted to quotations, attribute this quotation to Juan Ramon Jimenez, with individuals often declaring it is their favorite quotation. But the fascinating thing is they all cite Ray Bradbury's use of the quotation in Fahrenheit 451 as the source!
Another neat thing: the thread of this very discussion in the Quotation Page forum turned up in a google.yahoo search of keywords Juan Ramon Jimenez.
It turns out Jimenez only lived in Puerto Rico the last few years of his life--born in 1881, he lived in Spain until 1936 (the Spanish Civil War) when he moved to Puerto Rico for 3 years. He resided in the U.S. until 1951, then moved back to Puerto Rico. His wife died the same year he received the Nobel prize. He couldn't get over her death and died a year later.
Jimenez's poetry is astonishingly magical and beautiful, and I am grateful the discussion in this forum turned me on to him. Here are a few other cool quotations from him. (Caveat: I copied these faithfully from Web sites that seemed knowledgeable about Jimenez but can't attest 100% to their accuracy.)
My only two weapons: time and silence.
My life is constant regret for not having done things I refused to do when I could have.
Some of my affectionate envious friends say, "You write too much." "Maybe," I answer. "But as long as the best of your little is worse than the worst of my much, I will keep on doing so."
The greatest assassin of life is haste, the desire to reach things before the right time--which means over-reaching them.
I'll be back when I find the original source for the "ruled paper" quotation.
Posted by CrossEye on 08-30-01 01:11 PM
Is there any new news on this?
Posted by Luna on 08-30-01 04:14 PM
No, but I'm still searching. Granbois and I have exhausted Internet sources, which all cite Bradbury's use of the quotation to preface Fahrenheit 451 as their source. In fact, Granbois wrote Bradbury to ask him where he got it originally, but hasn't received a response. My old-fashioned library research has been hindered because I live in a beach town, where holdings of Jimenez's works are rare. So far I've read through a book of Jimenez's poems and his autobiographical Time and Space with no luck (but enjoyed the rich reading).
I'm interested in this because it's fascinating how rooted false information and misattributions can become. There's a guy out there who wrote a song when he was 14 and claimed it was a "lost" Beatles original. The hoax took fire, and now scholars cite the lost song as a Beatles original in their published work!
Posted by Phaedrus on 09-05-01 02:02 PM
Luna, if you're into misquotations check out "Nice Guys Finish Seventh" by Ralph Keyes. The whole book is about misquotations and false sayings. Hmm, I have a feeling you may already have it? Also, "They Never Said It" by Paul Boller and John George. You may have to get these online at a used book store as, I believe, they are out of print.
Posted by Luna on 09-05-01 03:11 PM
Phaedrus, I cannot believe you posted this--you are positively psychic! I just ordered Nice Guys Finish Seventh this past weekend--and had to do a good bit of research to find it, because you're right, it's out of print. I finally found it through backinprint.com--it hasn't arrived yet, but I can't wait to see it. Definitely sounds like my cup of tea. I don't know where I read first read about it--maybe from you. Have you recommended it on this site before? Thanks for the other recommendation, too--They Never Said It--I'll check that out.
Since I haven't gotten the book yet, can you clue me in on the title? I'm guessing the original saying wasn't "Nice guys finish last . . ."
Posted by Phaedrus on 09-06-01 06:06 AM
Actually, the the title of the book is "Nice Guys Finish Seventh-False Phrases, Surious Sayings, and Familiar Misquotations" by Ralph Keyes. The title comes from Leo Durocher's quote that "Nice guys finish seventh" in the July 5,1946 game between the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants. The Giants were in seventh place and Dodger manager Durocher held a press conference where he made the above statement. The press changed the wording to "nice guys finish last" and it stuck to Durocher ever since, even though he tried to correct it. Anyway, the long version is in chapter 10 in the book.
NOTE: If you need to locate a used book or one that may be out of print, go to http://www.abebooks.com
It has hundreds of used book dealers selling their wares and has a great search engine. I have purchased many books from the dealers listed there and haven't had any problems. The prices are good too. Just don't type in "quotations" or you'll get about 4,000 books listed
Posted by Luna on 09-07-01 10:00 PM
Thanks for the used book site, Phaedrus--I will definitely use it. Just got home and found Nice Guys Finish Seventh at the door, so I'm going to go settle into it for a bit. Looks like there was a lot of activity on this forum today (hooray!), so I'm looking forward to reading all the posts over Saturday morning coffee tomorrow.
Posted by donnegal on 09-09-01 06:15 PM
I will have to get this book. Does it have any discussion of "The bigger the lie, the more people will believe it"? I always thought Hitler said this because I saw it attributed to him alot and didn't question it. But recently I heard there is a dispute over who said this and have searched the internet for a source with no luck.
Posted by Luna on 09-10-01 05:30 AM
Hi, donnegal--glad to see you're back. The Keyes book (excellent read--I highly recommend) didn't discuss the bigger the lie. I had always thought it was Hitler, too (and have quoted it that way). My down and dirty Google search didn't turn up anything, but I'll keep looking. This one intrigues me.
Posted by GGByronFan on 09-18-01 07:39 AM
Die breite Masse eines Volkes ... fällt einer grossen Lüge leichter zum Opfer als einer Kleinen.
The broad mass of a nation ... will more easily fall victim to a big lie than to a small one.
Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, (1925) vol 1, ch. 10
Posted by donnegal on 09-22-01 09:46 AM
Here's the full quotation:
"In this they proceeded on the sound principle that the magnitude of a lie always contains a certain factor of credibility, since the great masses of
the people in the very bottom of their hearts tend to be corrupted rather than consciously and purposely evil, and that, therefore, in view of the primitive simplicity of their minds they more easily fall a victim to a big lie than to a little one, since they themselves lie in little things, but would
be ashamed of lies that were too big."
Posted by thenostromo on 09-22-01 10:02 AM
Here is an excerpt from Volume One, Chapter X of Mein Kampf
The concept of lies and progaganda gets a good workover here
Copyright (c) 1997 - Ingrid A. Rimland
http://www.zundelsite.org/english/zgram ... 70426.html
Posted by Luna on 02-16-02 07:48 AM
I'm pasting your reply to this thread because I've seen it show up in searches and thought it appropriate to have the answer to the mystery here.
The Complete Perfectionist
O.K., Luna and other fans of "If they give you lined paper...", here goes....
Yes, it's true -- this quote shows up in Juan Ramon Jimenez' The Complete Perfectionist - A Poetics of Work (1997). So that makes it official, as far as I'm concerned.
I'm guessing the "lined paper" / "ruled paper" variation is a translator's call. I leave it to someone else to work out how the quote got attributed to William Carlos Williams or ee cummings. (I've got some ideas that I'm keeping to myself.)
Any perfectionists out there may want to consult the Spanish original, Ideolojia (1897-1957), edited by Antonio Sanchez Romeralo (Barcelona, 1990). This is a collection of 4,116 (!) aphorisms by Jimenez -- what a prolific guy!!
I think what hit me first was the "heading" printed before the first chapter. "If they give you ruled paper, write the other way." Juan Ramon Jimenez.
~ Rabbi's Review on Fahrenheit 451