Here are more quote authors and origins Shapiro’s tracked down recently.
Quotes Uncovered: Who Said You're Always Where You Are?
A while back, I invited readers to submit quotations for which they wanted me to try to trace the origins, using The Yale Book of Quotations and more recent research by me. Hundreds of people have responded via comments or e-mails. I am responding as best I can, a few per week.
John Christensen asked:
Attributed to Mencken: “To every complicated problem there is a simple solution, which turns out to be wrong.” Actually sounds more like Bierce, now that I write it.
The Yale Book of Quotations sources this as follows:
“There is always a well-known solution to every human problem — neat, plausible, and wrong.” H. L. Mencken, Prejudies, Second Series (1920).
Greg Kennedy asked:
“No matter where you go, there you are.” I’ve heard it quoted in two movies.
The YBQ cites this quote:
“No matter where you go, there you are.” The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (motion picture) (1984).
Stephen Nightingale asked:
“Only the dead have seen the end of war.” Attributed to Plato, but per my web search a few minutes ago, no one has found it in his works — yet. Possibly Thucydides or Herodotus? Hesiod? Cain?
“If God were to make himself manifest to a clam, He would do so in the form of a very large clam.” I heard this at Catholic university many years ago from a very thoughtful and pious theologian who was trying to make a very serious point about religious tolerance.
According to The Yale Book of Quotations, “Only the dead have seen the end of war” is from George Santayana, Soliloquies in England and Later Soliloquies (1922). It is frequently attributed to Plato, as on the wall of the Imperial War Museum in London, in General Douglas MacArthur‘s farewell address at West Point in 1962, and in the film Black Hawk Down, but it does not appear in Plato’s works.
The second quote is similar to Montesquieu‘s line in Lettres Persanes (1721), which is translated as “If the triangles were to make a God they would give him three sides.”
Do any readers have any other quotations whose origins they would like me to attempt to trace?