The 3 Day Quotes Challenge

“Quotation, n: The act of repeating erroneously the words of another.” Ambrose Bierce

I’ve been nominated to take part in the 3 Day Quotes Challenge – thanks to the lovely ahouseofbooks!

The rules of the challenge are:

1. Thank the person who nominated you.
2. Post a quote on your blog every day for three days.
3. Nominate three other bloggers each day.

Being a contrary sort of beast, however, I thought I’d do all my quotes on one day. It doesn’t say anything about punishment for breaking the rules, so I’m hoping the Challenge Police don’t raid my house and steal all my chocolate…

cartoon policeman

So here goes…

* * * * * * *

My first quote represents the standard to which I compare all literary fiction. It comes from Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary and I’ve seen it translated in a variety of ways, but this is my favourite translation…

Human language is like a cracked kettle on which we beat out tunes for bears to dance to, when all the time we long to move the stars to pity.

Books that move the stars to pity include…

The Testament of Mary, Sunset Song, American Pastoral, The Grapes of Wrath, Revolutionary Road, And the Mountains Echoed

* * * * * * *

The second quote comes from the unique and wondrous pen of the great Plum, PG Wodehouse…

It has never been hard to tell the difference between a Scotsman with a grievance and a ray of sunshine.

Books that contain aggrieved Scotsmen include…

Laidlaw, Even Dogs in the Wild, Gallowglass, Entry Island, Kidnapped, Docherty

* * * * * * *

The third quote is one I’m not sure I believe, except in literary terms, but I love it nevertheless. From John Keats’ Ode on a Grecian Urn

‘Beauty is truth, truth beauty,’—that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.

Books where beauty is truth and truth beauty include…

The Great Gatsby, Nora Webster, Last Man in Tower, The Wind in the Willows, Fallen Land, The Way Things Were

* * * * * * *

I’m sorry, but I’m enjoying this so much I positively refuse to stop at three…

* * * * * * *

Number four sums up the glory of the cosmos and all that it contains… from that old chap who has tortured generations of schoolchildren with his pesky theorem, Pythagoras…

There is music in the spacing of the spheres.

Books that take us in amongst the spheres and beyond include…

Gravity’s Engines, Dreams of Other Worlds, Nearest Star, The Cosmic View of Albert Einstein, Thirteen, What Galileo Saw

* * * * * * *

The fifth quote is of course from the Bible via Wild Bill Shakespeare and is one I have used as the title of more than one review recently…

Woe is me!

Books that are woeful (in one or other sense of that word*) include…

The Goldfinch*, Second Life, The Monogram Murders, The Life I Left Behind, Gone, Lass, Sense and Sensibility – the Trollope version!

*The Goldfinch achieves the special status of being woeful in both senses.

* * * * * * *

Since tomorrow is Armistice Day in the UK, when we remember the fallen in two World Wars and later conflicts, it seems appropriate to include the lines that sum up the day, from Laurence Binyon’s poem For the Fallen

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.

Books that will help us remember include…

The War That Ended Peace, Birdsong, Heath Robinson’s Great War, That Dark Remembered Day, The Aftermath, The Telegraph Book of the First World War

* * * * * * *

From Ken Kalfus’ fabulous literary sci-fi novel Equilateral comes the wonderful quote…

“…red like a pomegranate seed, red like a blood spot on an egg, red like a ladybug, red like a ruby or more specifically a red beryl, red like coral, red like an unripe cherry, red like a Hindu lady’s bindi, red like the eye of a nocturnal predator, red like a fire on a distant shore, the subject of his every dream and his every scientific pursuit.

“Mars,” he says.”

On the same subject, astronaut Buzz Aldrin said…

“Mars is there, waiting to be reached.”

Books that take us to Mars include…

Equilateral, The Martian, A Princess of Mars, The Martian Chronicles, The Emperor of Mars, The Warlord of Mars

* * * * * * *

And finally, no list of quotes would be complete without a wee bit o’ Rabbie Burns – from My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose

As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in luve am I:
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a’ the seas gang dry:

Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi’ the sun:
I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o’ life shall run.

Books with loves that will last till a’ the seas gang dry include…

Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Sense and Sensibility, Northanger Abbey, Emma, Persuasion

darcy kiss
(Though really they’re social commentary…)

* * * * * * *

D’you know, I’ve had so much fun doing this I suspect there will be another post on it sometime, perhaps a Shakespeare special. I hope you’ve enjoyed it too – and I hereby challenge every one of you, (especially Susan), to join in, either by doing the challenge on your own blog or by leaving your favourite quote(s) below.

Thanks again to ahouseofbooks for the inspiration!

* * * * * * *

Have a great Tuesday! 😀

50 thoughts on “The 3 Day Quotes Challenge

  1. Oh, these are fabulous quotes, FictionFan! And I’ve no doubt that the Challenge Police will not only leave your chocolate alone, they’ll hold you up as the model of a good citizen for doing all that extra work. I really love your choices, too, as they come from all sorts of different books. To me, it’s just a reflection of the power of books. All of humankind’s experience is right there, and that’s why we identify with those quotes the way we do.

    • Haha! Thanks, Margot – I’ve buried the chocs in a safe place just to be sure! Yes, indeed, if it can’t be found in books then it doesn’t exist! And not just humankind – Martiankind too! 😉

      Glad you enjoyed the post – and thanks for the tweet! 😀

  2. Well, I do you think yo are a contrary sort of beast. That’s for sure! It’s a good thing, too.

    I must say, too, it’s cool how all the books are overlapping. Did you do that?

    *laughs* I like the paragraph quote about all that red stuff. Though some of it is scary. No cherry sucker, though, I noticed.

    Social commentary! You just proved what it was. Ew! It’s so…gross. *hides*

    Loved this! A favorite quote…I can’t even think of one, the sudden, really.

    • Rules were made to be broken! Unless it’s me that made the rule, of course…

      *laughs* Well, I suppose I did a bit. It’s just a WP gallery – but I’m glad you’re impressed! *smiles bigly*

      Love that quote so much! No, but there is an unripe cherry in there… Equilateral is still on your TBR, you’ll be relieved to know!

      I hope you’re not suggesting they’re romances!! If you do, I shall be forced to quote more Burns to you, sir!! Oh, you and Clara will probably be getting a pciture like that taken soon…

      Yeah, it’s quite hard to think of them. I supect yours would involve dead cats and graveyards… or beetles…

        • All rules were made to be broken. Especially government rules!! And FEF rules, of course.

          I’m impressed. And it’s hard to impress a professor.

          Equilateral? I thought we’d thrown that out? You sure it’s still on my list? *evil eye*

          They’re most certainly romances! *laughs at how FEF try to make it seem they’re not* That is seriously the most funny thing ever. *laughs more*

          Beetles and femurs! I dig. Definitely.

          • You rebel! But you can’t break my rules or I’ll… ban you from playing guitar for a year!

            *preens*

            Positive! It’s been in there for so long it must be nearly at the top now too… you’ll love it! *chuckles wickedly*

            I warned you!

            “While Europe’s eye is fix’d on mighty things,
            The fate of empires and the fall of kings;
            While quacks of State must each produce his plan,
            And even children lisp the Rights of Man;
            Amid this mighty fuss just let me mention,
            The Rights of Woman merit some attention.” Burns

            Have you made up with her yet? You should give her a yellow flower…

      • For a year? I can’t even go a couple of weeks. I might get treacherous if I can’t play guitar for a year.

        Only if you read….another Steinbeck book! Or a Dumas book!

        *laughs* Not sure I understand what it’s about, but nice! I like the children lisping parts. Still, it doesn’t back up your theory at all.

        What’s a yellow flower signify?

        • It was a bad idea – I’d get treacherous if you didn’t too! Maybe the punishment should be to make you play more guitar instead…

          *laughs lots* It’d almost be worth it just to hear the despair in your voice!

          They are not romances!!!! The only way to prove I’m right is for you to read them all… I’m waiting!!

          Tut! From the lovely song and dance routine from Enchanted… oh dear, I just had to go watch it again there! It’s so sweet! *laughs*

          • More guitar? Ooo nice. Okay. I like that punishment. Let’s do it.

            You totally wicked thing, you!

            I read P&P…and all it was about is romance!!

            *laughs* Of course I don’t remember that, or the movie, or the dance.

            • Deal! And more clarinet!

              *does a Salami chuckle*

              You clearly read it all wrong then – you’ll just have to read it again!

              Uh-huh! You should take Clara to see it…

            • Not maybe – definitely! Or no cherry pie for you…

              But see, I remember you admitting that you thought it was quite witty… I know you loved it really

              Maybe her hair is that weird lopsided way because someone already did…

    • Thanks for the link. 🙂 Interesting post, if somewhat over my head! Analysing poetry has never been one of my strengths – for me, it either provokes an emotional reaction or it doesn’t. The Keats quote does – the wheelbarrow doesn’t. This, of course, may explain why I dropped out of English Lit at Uni… 😉

      • Yes, some poetry or visual art works hit us immediately, some require mediation/intellectual processing before we can fully appreciate. Some work on both levels. It’s funny that you dropped out of English Lit with your blog so sensitive to all the nuances of lit.

        • Well, thank you! 🙂 I suspect it was the way we were taught – they had a tendency to want to tell us what to think rather than how to think. And I have a tendency to form my own opinions… 😉

  3. Or my favourite –
    “A book that furnishes no quotations is, me judice, no book – it is a plaything.”
    Thomas Love Peacock.

  4. Ah, that is one brilliant post O FF.

    Seems like you took a good idea and headed off to the stratosphere with it. Flashing stars everywhere – and I hope each one descends to earth as a fine chocolate fancy and gets to your homebase. Great visuals, great wordies, great quoties, great bookie tie-ins – though I’m not sure I WON’T report you to the quotations challenge pollis, and send them round to arrest all your star chocolates, for that dreadful dissing of Donna.

    We are working together on a new, and scarier version of Hitchcock’s The Birds, where, yes you have guessed it, a veritable legion of goldfinches, beaks agape, are heading North of the Border. Be afraid, be very afraid, and listen out for the peck peck peck of a myriad little beaklets against your windowpane……………………………………………..

    That Kalfus quote makes the heart and senses sing and quiver. Magic

    • Thank you, m’dear! I had a lot of fun doing it, I must admit! And I do apologise – I only put The Goldfinch in to check you were paying attention… 😉 And because I do enjoy it when you harrumph! I shall get a precautionary supply of bird-seed in, for bribery purposes…

      The Kalfus quote is brilliant, isn’t it? Really must re-read that one sometime. But I was expecting a flurry of quotes from you – unless I can hope you’re going to take up the challenge on your own blog?

  5. You had fun with this one, didn’t you, FF? It shows, you know. Love your quotes and how you tied them to books. How about this one:

    There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all.

    –Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

    • I did! I started out menaing to obey the rules and just do one quote but then it kinda grew out of control! 😉

      Love that one! So true – even in these days of internet and movie streaming, nothing takes you to another place quite like books…

    • Glad you enjoyed it! Haha! The books just kinda started sneaking in there when my back was turned… couldn’t keep them out! Yes, indeed, not every book moves the stars to pity but there are plenty that do if you look hard enough… 🙂

  6. Oh brilliant, i so love quotes and what a great list of books! And, yep, what are rules for but to be broken. Here’s one for you 😉 “In truth great love springs from great knowledge of the beloved object, and if you know it but a little you will be able to love it only a little or not at all.” Leonardo Da Vinci

    • Glad you enjoyed it! The books just crept in when I wasn’t looking – story of my life really! 😉

      What a great quote – yes, indeed, and I guess that’s why we keep going back to re-read the books we love most, or listen to favourite pieces of music…

    • Ooh, yes, you should! In fact, Shakespeare and crime would go really well together – and now I think of it, quite a lot of Shakespeare really falls into the domestic noir category… 😉

  7. Thanks for the pleasure of this blog and I can’t resist sharing. Starting with:
    In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit. Albert Schweitzer. I’m very grateful for kindling, thoughtful and human and funny bloggy encounters.

    And, like you, I can’t stop at one:
    It may be that when we no longer know which way to go we have come to our real journey. The mind that is not baffled is not employed. The impeded stream is the one that sings. Wendell Berry. And once again, I appreciate the real food for thought and challenge that comes from those like you who share not only their books but their thoughts and feelings.

    And last one (though I could go on…):
    And suddenly you know: It’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings.
    Meister Eckhart. The wonderful starting of a new story….

    • Now, I love that one from Schweitzer! You remind me that when I reviewed a little book of quotes and thoughts from Einstein, the authors told me they were planning on doing a companion book on Schweitzer – must check if that has ever appeared…

      And again, yes indeed! What a dull life it would be if we weren’t constantly in a process of trying to understand new things… Books should always be trying to expand our awareness and understanding!

      Yep! I think page 1 of any new book is my favourite…

      Thanks for joining in, underrunner, and for the kind words! I love the way we all inspire each other in the blogosphere too – I’ve read so many books, listened to so much music etc, that I’d never have come across if it wasn’t for reading blogs… 😀

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