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Literary Trivia

October 11, 2013

These are quotations which appeared in a newspaper or magazine, and each makes an allusion; identify the literary source (from Literary Trivia, by Riehard Lederer and Michael Gilleland).

1. He stoppeth one of three (from a story about a New Jersey Devils hockey goalie).

2. Shuttling from one capital to another, Secretary of State James Baker is operating on the Panglossian premise that the world’s statesmen can eventually work something out.

3. A Budget of Dreams Deferred (headline for a story about the NYC budget).

4. The crabmeat in most seafood salads never spent any time as a pair of ragged claws scuttling across the floors of silent seas.

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. October 11, 2013 8:29 am

    What? Not. A. Clue.

  2. October 11, 2013 8:30 am

    1. …
    2. Voltaire, Candide.
    3. Langston Hughes, Raisin in the Sun.
    4. Eliot, T.S., Prufrock

    Welcome back!

    • October 14, 2013 9:46 am

      I thought I might alternate literary trivia with questions of the week. I love it that you’re thinking of the next line of the Hughes poem, where we get the title of another play…

  3. Gwen Bailey permalink
    October 11, 2013 2:25 pm

    Do not know 1.
    2. Candide by Voltaire
    3. Dream Deferred by Langston Hughes
    4. Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T. S. Eliot.

    Finally! Some Jeanne Trivia I can identify!

  4. Jenny permalink
    October 11, 2013 6:39 pm

    1. is the Rime of the Ancient Mariner.

  5. October 11, 2013 9:23 pm

    I knew 2 & 3 and suspected 1 (at least assuming Jenny is right). I was pretty sure I *should* know 5… and yes, I should have.

  6. October 11, 2013 9:53 pm

    Well, I know Candide and I know Langston Hughes. And that is all. This is a good game!

  7. October 14, 2013 9:45 am

    1. In “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” by Coleridge, he “stoppeth one of three” to tell the story of how he killed the albatross and was punished for it.
    2. In Voltaire’s Candide, Pangloss is the teacher satirized for his optimistic view of life: “all is for the best in this best of all possible worlds.”
    3. Langston Hughes’ “Harlem” begins “What happens to a dream deferred?/Does it dry up/like a raisin in the sun?”
    4. A twist on the couplet from T.S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” (“I should have been a pair of ragged claws/Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.”)

  8. October 15, 2013 7:16 am

    I only got Candide. Also parodied in a short story by Roald Dahl called Pig.

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