Quote Origin: I Expect To Pass Through This World But Once. If There Be Any Kindness I Can Show, Let Me Do It Now

Stephen Grellet? Eva Rose York? A. B. Hegeman? William Penn? John Wesley? John Townsend? Eliza M. Hickok? Henry Drummond? Quakers’ Motto? Anonymous? Question for Quote Investigator: Our time on Earth is remarkably brief. We should not hesitate to express compassion and empathy toward others. This notion has been expressed as follows: I expect to pass …

Quote Origin: If I Knew What the Meanings of My Books Were, I Wouldn’t Have Bothered To Write Them

Margaret Drabble? George Plimpton? Apocryphal? Question for Quote Investigator: When novelists are asked to explain the meanings of the stories they create some are happy to comply. However, many are reticent to present a single definitive interpretation to a complex multilayered narrative. The English novelist Margaret Drabble provided a humorously caustic reply. Would you please …

Quote Origin: I Write Because I Want More Than One Life

Anne Tyler? Lee Smith? C. S. Lewis? George R. R. Martin? Louis L’Amour? Apocryphal? Question for Quote Investigator: A prominent author disclosed a fascinating insight into her prime motivation for writing novels. She desired to live more than one life. Would you please help me to identify this author and find a citation? Reply from …

Quote Origin: How Do You Make a Small Fortune in a Risky Domain? Start With a Large Fortune

Elon Musk? Ruly Carpenter? Stanley Kroll? Leo Fuld? Alan Young? Phil Silvers? Joey Adams? Anonymous? Question for Quote Investigator: A family of jokes emphasizes the unforgiving economics of risky or expensive activities. Here are four examples: (1) How do you make a small fortune in social media? Start out with a large one. (2) The …

Quote Origin: True Heroism is Not the Urge To Surpass All Others At Whatever Cost, But the Urge To Serve Others At Whatever Cost

Arthur Ashe? Apocryphal? Question for Quote Investigator: A famous tennis player once discussed the topic of valor. He stated that heroism was not based on a desire to surpass others, but on a desire to serve others. A statement like this has been attributed to Arthur Ashe. Would you please help me to find a …

Quote Origin: If One Person Says It’s Raining and Another Says It’s Not Raining Then the Journalist Should Look Out the Window and Report the Truth

Hubert Mewhinney? Sam Kinch? ‎Stuart Long? Adam J. Schiffer? Jack Z. Smith? Rick Sanchez? Anonymous? Question for Quote Investigator: Journalists are taught to value fairness and objectivity. If there are two sides to an issue then fairness demands that both sides should be presented in an article. Yet, sometimes only one side makes sense. The …

Quote Origin: Never Let a Fool Kiss You, and Never Let a Kiss Fool You

Joey Adams? Yip Harburg? Evan Esar? Judge Magazine? Anonymous? Question for Quote Investigator: A loving kiss is wonderful, but it should be with the right person. A deceptive kiss is perilous. A family of quips about the dangers of osculation uses a rhetorical device called antimetabole. Words in the first half of a statement are …

Quote Origin: There May Be a Great Fire In Our Soul, Yet No One Ever Comes To Warm Themselves At It. Passers-By See Only a Wisp of Smoke from a Chimney

Vincent van Gogh? Joni Mitchell? Justin Lee Collins? Nellie Hermann? Apocryphal? Question for Quote Investigator: A personal website enables an artist to achieve inexpensive worldwide distribution of a large digital portfolio. Yet, the greatest challenge for an artist today is convincing others to pay attention to their artworks. In the late nineteenth century an artist …

Quote Origin: We Are All Such a Waste of Our Potential, Like Three-Way Lamps Using One-Way Bulbs

Mignon McLaughlin? Derric Johnson? Anonymous? Question for Quote Investigator: A clever author once compared the unfulfilled potential of a human to a three-way light fixture which contains a one-way light bulb that never shines with its maximum luminance. Would you please help me to determine the name of the author who crafted this simile? Reply …

Quote Origin: The Book Publishing Industry Is Going To Be Wiped Off the Face of the Earth Soon

Matthew Yglesias? William Deresiewicz? Apocryphal? Question for Quote Investigator: Predicting the technological future is extremely difficult. In 2007 Amazon corporation introduced the Kindle ebook reader, and ebooks grew rapidly in popularity during the following years. Commentators envisioned dramatic upheavals in the book world. One influential pundit projected that publishers were going to be wiped out. …

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