Thursday, July 06, 2006


I think that's what you call it.
The mis-use of august pronouncements and quotations - sometimes called sniggering at your betters, or plain being a brat.
Nevertheless, there's something about profundity that invites a form of ridicule, triggers a certain ingrained stubborness (oh yeah? so you say), or excites a sort of silly mis-application of the whole thing.
Pedestal poking, perhaps.
Certainly that uncontrollable urge struck me yesterday dipping into Many Thoughts Of Many Minds: A Treasury of Quotations from the Literature of Every Land and Every Age.

Joubert on... Erotica:
The most commonplace people become highly imaginative when they are in a passion.

Emerson and Herodotus on...Show, don't tell:
The thing done avails, and not what is said about it.
I am satisfied that we are less convinced by what we hear than by what we see.

Vauxenargues on... Dan Brown:
It is easy to criticise an author, but it is difficult to appreciate him.

Southey on...Word count:
If you would be pungent, be brief.

H.W. Shaw on...Writer's block:
Words are often seen hunting for an idea, but ideas are never seen hunting for words.

Abba Goold Woolson on...Chick lit:
A majority of women seem to consider themselves sent into the world for the sole purpose of displaying dry goods.

Alcott on... Query letters:
Our bravest lessons are not learned through success, but misadventure.

Horace Mann on...Revision and re-write:
Genius may conceive, but patient labor must consumate.

Tacitus on...Fan girls:
Flatterers are the worst kind of enemies.

Zimmerman on...James Frey:
The more you speak of yourself, the more you are likely to lie.

Epictetus on...Deadlines for the writer who blogs:
Be not diverted from your duty by any idle reflections the silly world may make upon you.

Addison...on Promotion:
If we banish modesty out of the world, she carries away half the virtue that is in it.

Carlyle on...the TBR pile and Miss Snark's advice:
The true university these days is a collection of books.


M.E Ellis said...

Words are often seen hunting for an idea, but ideas are never seen hunting for words.

Very true!


Ric said...

Some delightful bon mots to start the day.
And your little additions are very funny.

James Goodman said...

Those were great, Bernita.

Flood said...

Great post! If you ever do that index of favourite posts, I hope this will count among them.

Bernita said...

A new take on "hunt-and-peck", isn't it, Michelle?

~ a little flustered~
Glad you liked them.
Thank you, Ric, James, and Flood.

Scott said...

I liked the quote that it is hard to appreciate an author. It does take a lot more thought and effort to say what you like about something. Why is it so easy to lambaste? Much practice?

Bernita said...

have wondered about that, Scott, though we must bear in mind that there are also those who consider everything certain authors write to be without flaw.
Wonder if ease in criticism comes down to focus, or practise in self-justification.

Dennie McDonald said...

Be not diverted from your duty by any idle reflections the silly world may make upon you.

Um Yep - gotta get writing!

Dennie McDonald said...

But I'd rather go through my list of blogs first - hehehe

Bonnie Calhoun said...

I'm with Dennie on the blog thing *sheesh* I find new good ones everyday! It's like a bottomless pit that keeps sucking me in!

I like how you fitted a today subject into a yesterday writer! Just goes to show, "There's nothing new under the sun...and what goes around, comes around!"...LOL!

Good job, Bernita!

Bernita said...

Thank you, Bonnie.
You did notice, you and Dennie, I restricted it to the times when one is on a deadline.
Can't live without blogs.

bookfraud said...

excellent stuff. though i wonder about the erotica comment -- perhaps we become more imaginitive in bed in the throes of passion, but why are we so lousy in writing about it?

Bernita said...

Are we, bookfraud?
That question was not meant to be arch.
Since erotica in its various forms and heat levels is the new "hot" market, a lot of people must be doing it right.

kmfrontain said...

LOL, great use of quotes with topics.

S. W. Vaughn said...

Brilliant, Bernita! You're good at this! :-)

I love the one you applied to James Frey...

Bernita said...

Thank you, KM, SW!

Frey does rather leap to mind, does he not?

Jaye Wells said...

Fun post. Thanks for the food for thought.

Bernita said...

Calorie free, Jaye.

fringes said...

A few days late. I love this post. Historical/contemporary parallels make me giddy.

Bernita said...

Thank you, Fringes.
The misalignment is always a hoot, is it not?

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