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February 23rd, 2006
02:23 am
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The Line Before
There's a story behind this post. If I have time later this week, I might even tell it.

But at any rate: I realized, after some rather extensive research led me to a surprising discovery, that while virtually everyone can cite famous quotes ... it's very rare to know the context surrounding them. So much so that if you were to step back even a single sentence from the famous line everyone knows, the origin of that line could be much harder to piece together.

To illustrate this, I'm going to offer you two Line Befores. Here are the rules. To answer a LB, post the person who wrote or said that line. Also, please track down the LB from a favorite famous quip of yours (you will probably have to go back to your source poem/prose, or Google the transcript of the speech that spawned it), and post that in the same reply. That'll help keep a stream of LBs up and give other people a chance to play along.

If someone's already posted the author of a LB you know, you can add the famous quote that follows it. But no Googling in order to post the famous quote! (Googling for the author might be in bad form, too, but I suspect it's sometimes necessary.)

Memeify if desired; you can repost the rules and a Line Before in your own journal if you want.

So here are my seed LBs -- an easier one from a poem, and the other one that started me going:

"Thousands at his bidding speed, and post o'er land and ocean without rest."

"Okay, I'm going to step off the lem now."

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From:azhreia
Date:February 23rd, 2006 01:17 pm (UTC)
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"Okay, I'm going to step off the lem now."

well, clearly it's from the moonlanding. I'm not sure 100% without googling, but I think it was Buzz Aldrin, just before his famous "One small step for [a] man, a giant leap for mankind".

;-)


When I was in Bible College, they taught us a rule for using scripture, which we remembered with the acronym COMB - Context, Other, Meaning, Background. This was supposed to minimise taking scripture out of context and making it say what we wanted it to ;-) I got rather good at operating a concordance as a result of this acronym.

Nowadays, I'm as likely as anyone to quote something "out of context". But at least I'm generally aware of the context for my quote, even if I'm not specifically mentioning it at the precise moment I use it.
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From:ngarewyrd
Date:February 23rd, 2006 01:53 pm (UTC)
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wasn't it Neil Armstrong who said it? Being the first man on the moon and all that..

Thought Buzz was the second guy out.. and as such, didn't need to make a big scene out of getting his footprint on the surface...
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From:aki_dreaming
Date:February 23rd, 2006 05:31 pm (UTC)

Me style

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I don't know either.

BUT...

I bet they're asleep in New York; I bet they're asleep all over America.

Look, it may take a while... If you want to wait there's a bench over there.
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From:baxil
Date:February 23rd, 2006 11:16 pm (UTC)

Re: Me style

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Oooh, two great movie quotes! (He says after Googling.)

I'll tell you what the first one's next line isn't: "Sleepers of the world, unite." ;-) (Guessing these, if nothing else, is a lot of fun.)
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From:baxil
Date:February 23rd, 2006 11:29 pm (UTC)

You always go back to the classics

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Let's toss out another two into the mix:

"O, be some other name! What's in a name?"

and

"But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition."
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From:necama
Date:February 23rd, 2006 11:57 pm (UTC)

Re: You always go back to the classics

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"O, be some other name! What's in a name?"

that which we call a rose / By any other name would smell as sweet.

Romeo and Juliet, I forget which act and scene.

"But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition."

For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

1 Timothy 6: 9-10.
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From:hafoc
Date:February 24th, 2006 12:28 am (UTC)
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"The falcon cannot hear the falconer."

(Don't know if this is a good quote, but the line that follows was used as a title for something, so it must be fairly well known.)

"Contact light? OK, contact."

"Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God!"

"Tell them, dear, that if eyes were made for seeing,"

"Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind."

There you have a few to play with. And just because I could not FIND the quote-- I can't remember where it came from-- I'm going to include a snippet of poetry. If you know where it came from I'd be glad to know.

And so in the Lybian fable it is said
That once an eagle, stricken by a dart,
Said, when he saw the fashion of the shaft,
"See, it is by our own feathers
And not by the hand of others
That we now perish."

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From:baxil
Date:February 24th, 2006 01:05 am (UTC)
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I know the top one. Yeats. I'll give whoever comes second the fun of posting the line. ;)

As for your poetry snippet -- if you google "the Lybian fable", one of the few results that comes up says it's by Aeschylus. Further Google-fu incorporating that tidbit brings me here, in which it's ID'ed as from Fragment 135 of "Prometheus Bound." HTH!
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From:necama
Date:February 24th, 2006 01:12 am (UTC)

Re: You always go back to the classics

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I knew it was 1 Timothy, and that it was the "love of money is the root of all evil." line. And that you were using the KJB version. :-)

I'll give you a few LBs tonight when I get home from Aikido. Need them books, ya know.

Oh, one for now:

"And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death."
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From:hafoc
Date:February 24th, 2006 01:35 am (UTC)

Re: You always go back to the classics

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.."Out, out, brief candle:
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
Who struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing."

---any government employee who ever lived. Alternatively, Shakespeare's "Macbeth."
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From:necama
Date:February 24th, 2006 07:55 am (UTC)

More LBs:

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"Sadly, however, before she could get to a phone to tell anyone about it, a terrible, stupid catastrophe occurred, and the idea was lost for ever."

"And then they rested on a rock
Conveniently low:
And all the little Oysters stood
waiting in a row."


"The face gazed up at him, heavy, calm, protecting: but what kind of smile was hidden beneath the dark moustache? Like a leaden knell the words came back at him:"

"Somewhere, very close, the laugh that wasn't laughter."

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From:hafoc
Date:February 24th, 2006 12:26 pm (UTC)

Re: More LBs:

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..idea was lost forever.
This is not her story.
But it is the story of that terrrible, stupid catastrophe and some of its consequences. It is also the story of a book, the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy."
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From:wanderdragon
Date:February 25th, 2006 06:05 am (UTC)
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Fantastic concept, Bax, as usual. ;)

Here's a twist: I've got a Line AFTER for you all, from one of my favorite pieces of maniacal monologuing.
"Sink all coffins and all hearses to one common pool!"

And a regular LB, from a poem, though the fact that there are several translations of this line may make it a little difficult:
"Only those elements time cannot wear/were made before me, and before time I stand."
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