Saturday, 29 April 2017

Lost and Found

I use quotations quite a lot on this blog. I started collecting them for use in my lectures. I found them to be a convenient way of making a point. Not only was it me that was making the point but somebody else had made much the same point before me. The collection of quotations then became something of a minor hobby. When I read or heard something interesting, I simply wrote it down.

In those early days of quotation collecting for lectures, they were printed on acetates for projection using an overhead projector. It was very easy for acetates to get jumbled up and they had to be reorganised afterwards - or more accurately, the following year just before giving the lecture to the next batch of students. Eventually one of my favourite quotations got lost.

I couldn't remember where I first came across it (somebody other than the primary source had used it and I couldn't remember who), nor could I find it online, not least because I couldn't remember the wording well enough to make an accurate search - or perhaps it just hadn't be put online yet. Now all that has changed. I have found it again (on Wikiquote). It is this by Lawrence Durrell from his novel Clea (1960).

'Like all young men I set out to be a genius, but mercifully laughter intervened.'

I used to use it in the context of not taking oneself too seriously. Ideally, I would suggest being a genius and have a good laugh at the same time.