July 3rd, 2006


The Best Satirical Use of a Quotation

In the summer reading awards division, the hands on winner of the Best Satirical Use of a Quotation goes to Kurt Vonnegut in Galápagos: A Novel, for "And all the people are so innocent and relaxed now, all because evolution took their hands away.

"Quoth Mandarax:
In works of labour, or of skill,
I would be busy, too;
For Satan finds some mischief still
For idle hands to do.

    -- Isaac Watts, (1674-1748)"

page 186

Actually, he has the runner up, as well, but it is a bit harder to give the feel for that one... Maybe I'll just say, one country decided to bomb another, and when one of the blasts hits near the main characters,

"Into the lava plinth beneath it these words might be incised, expressing the sentiments of all who had had a hand in the design and manufacture and sale and purchase and launch of the rocked, and of all to whom high explosives were a branch of the entertainment industry:
..."'Tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish'd.
    -- William Shakespeare (1564-1515)"

page 190

Someone ought to grab that line during tomorrow's fireworks displays nation-wide and run with it...