One must never miss an opportunity of quoting things by others which are always more interesting than those one thinks up oneself. –Marcel Proust

The idea for this post was born of the mating of the above quote (which came from a book I’m reading about Marcel Proust) with a play on words from the title of this old song:

The next step was to come up with nine quotes based on the above premise. Almost by default, I chose quotes about quotes. I hope the result isn’t born stillborn — if so, de fault is yours (or mine, if you want to be petty about it). Let’s begin and see how it works out:

Those who never quote, in return are never quoted. –Isaac D’Israeli

Pretty things that are well said — it’s nice to have them in your head. –Robert Frost

I have made it a rule that whenever I say something stupid, I immediately attribute it to Dr. Johnson, Marcus Aurelius or Dorothy Parker. –George Mikes

Asked to describe his most recent play, a playwright (who Dorothy Parker felt had been copying her) said, “It’s hard to say — except that it’s a play against all isms.” She replied, “Except plagiarism.

I always have a quotation for everything — it saves original thinking. –Dorothy L. Sayers

To be amused at what you read — that is the great spring of quotation. –Charles Edward Montague

While reading writers of great formulatory power — Henry James, Santayana, Proust — I find I can scarcely get through a page without having to stop to record some lapidary sentence. Reading Henry James, for example, I have muttered to myself, “C’mon, Henry, turn down the brilliance a notch, so I can get some reading done.” –Joseph Epstein

If you want to be quoted, say something you shouldn’t say. –Evan Esar

I really didn’t say everything I said. –Yogi Berra

So that makes me a quoter of nine, unless one counts the opening Marcel Proust quote, which doesn’t count as ten unless you’re keeping count, in which case, count it instead as a bonus which would only count if you don’t count Yogi, who said he didn’t say what he said if he didn’t say it (but don’t quote me on that).




38 comments on “A QUOTER OF NINE

  1. K. A. Bryce says:

    Very nice, though I was disappointed you didn’t have something by Wilde. Nothing comes to mind offhand and my own book of quotes is in no way organized, but I would have guessed he’d be one of your first. I’m sure he said something scathing about quotes, or at least one would hope so. Smiles>KB

    Liked by 2 people

  2. “Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.” — Oscar Wilde

    Liked by 6 people

  3. Richard A Cahill says:

    Any post that mentions the immortal Ms. Parker twice gets a star on my refrigerator, Sr. Muse.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. masercot says:

    “Quote, unquote and quote”

    “How many quotes is that, Jameson?”

    “Three, sir”

    “Three? Add another quote and make it a gallon”

    Groucho Marx – Animal Crackers

    Liked by 5 people

    • mistermuse says:

      Groucho was such a wise cracker that one would think he would be the Marx Brother at the famous Algonquin Round Table (where Dorothy Parker was ‘queen’), but instead it was Harpo.

      Liked by 2 people

      • masercot says:

        I’ve heard that Harpo could be pretty funny. Actually, I heard the same thing about Zeppo. Some biographer talked about how ungodly slow Zeppo Marx drove and the author of the book just got lulled and FELL OUT OF THE CAR. It was probably going about twenty miles an hour at the time…

        Liked by 2 people

  5. calmkate says:

    lol gave me a smile, nice to see a post other than about him … 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  6. restlessjo says:

    I love it! I even remember the song 🙂 🙂 Original thinking is pretty hard, and I may have to spend the rest of my life quoting George Mikes.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Fabulous quotes, and am very glad to see Dorothy Parker honoured here.

    Also: Bobby Darin was the ultimate in Cool.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. markscheel1 says:


    Dare I disclose the following? A story of mine, I’ve just been informed, is a finalist in a Dorothy Parker writing contest where entrants are required to take the first line and last line of her “A Telephone Call” story and write their own story seamlessly in between. Furthermore, a little bird landed on my window recently and tweeted that you (and yours) are due for congratulations–and you know what for. So, by golly, congrats!!!!! And many more. 🙂


    Liked by 3 people

    • mistermuse says:

      Congrats on being a Dorothy Parker writing contest finalist, Mark — here’s hoping that your story wins (and, if so, that you post it). Also, thanks for the “you know what” congrats; I’m glad the tweet came from a little bird, not from you know who. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Well said, or quoted as the case may be.

    “I often quote myself. It adds spice to my conversation.”
    George Bernard Shaw

    Liked by 3 people

  10. tonite, the stars’ll twinkle and shine, this evening…about a quoter of nine. continue…

    Liked by 3 people

  11. actually i wrote that before i even knew what the Darin clip was. great minds. continue…

    Liked by 2 people

  12. smbabbitt says:

    Just ran across this (from LOVE’S LABOURS LOST) in an old advertisement for a new book of quotations:
    Moth. [Aside to COSTARD.] They have been at a great feast of languages, and stolen the scraps.
    Costard. O! they have lived long on the almsbasket of words. I marvel thy master hath not eaten thee for a word; for thou art not so long by the head as honorificabilitudinitatibus: thou art easier swallowed than a flap-dragon.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. smbabbitt says:

    Sorry, should have been LABOUR’S


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