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Adagio's avatar

Do you know the source of this quote from a fiction novel ?

Asked by Adagio (14040points) October 9th, 2009

Once you know how everything changes with the mutability of the light, there is no special reason to accord primacy to the view in common day.

This sentence comes from a fiction novel I read a number of years ago. Although I copied and saved the sentence I did not record the author or book title. I am hoping that someone can remind me. I sent it to a friend yesterday and would have liked to include the source but of course I could not. Can anyone help?

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16 Answers

Jeruba's avatar

I don’t, but it’s a nice quote. I’d be interested in the source too.

Grisaille's avatar

Me three.

Adagio's avatar

@Jeruba What I really like about this quote is its eloquent reminder that the way something appears today or at this particular moment in time is not necessarily the way it will appear tomorrow or the next day or the day after that….. Nothing is set in stone.

Jeruba's avatar

I like that aspect of it, but even more, I like the way it denies authority to the view that we typically consider most nearly real. It’s “real” by common consent and not by virtue of better sensory evidence.

By the way, all novels are fiction by definition. “Fiction novel” sounds sort of like “musical song”—an unnecessary modifier.

Ria777's avatar

I meant to say the same thing as Jeruba. what people mean by “fiction novel” I have no idea.

Adagio's avatar

@Jeruba Tautological you say, Ok, I shall remember from now on… Thank you

Ria777's avatar

what they call a pleonasm.

Adagio's avatar

@Ria777 should I say thank you Madam or Sir?

Adagio's avatar

I knew it was a long shot asking this question but I am not going to give up hope, not yet anyway. You never know perhaps there is another reader who also took a particular liking to that sentence but had the good sense to make a note of the book and author too. I sure hope so.

Jeruba's avatar

I did put the entire sentence into Google in the hope that it was in someone’s collection, but I didn’t get a hit. Are we pretty sure your transcription is exactly accurate?

Adagio's avatar

@Jeruba I tried that myself and had no success. Yes, the transcription is completely accurate, I did not make any changes whatsoever.

Jeruba's avatar

Can you remember anything at all about the story or the context? for instance, where the author went with the observation? It wouldn’t have come out of the blue. The language suggests a literary novel rather than a page-turner; you don’t see words like “mutability” and “primacy” in detective thrillers and pot-boilers.

You are better positioned than the rest of us to make guesses about what you’d have been likely to read a few years ago. But if you can dredge up any clues at all, or even eliminate anything (how contemporary your selections usually are, which genres you never read, what authors you follow, whether to focus on a particular nationality of author, etc.), you might trigger something. For instance, if you read only recent publications but you never read any American writers, that narrows the field a lot.

Buttonstc's avatar

Have you tried Bartleby.com?

Adagio's avatar

I only wish I could offer more @Jeruba, it is as though I almost catch glimpses of it, a sort of peripheral memory, not enough to recognise anything. It would have been published before 2005, no swiftly turning pages, no thrills, no detectives, no boiling pots, no fictitious science, more than likely an english speaking author, could be English/Irish/NZ/American/Australian, a female author is my guess Why? it just feels like something a woman would be more inclined to write than a man

Adagio's avatar

@Buttonstc I investigated the site but couldn’t get past that jiggling CONGRATULATIONS and the “1 rule to a flat stomach” advertising, I have great difficulty with all that kind of stuff, can’t click it away fast enough. But thank you for this suggestion, I think the quotes come from an earlier period in time.

Jeruba's avatar

Key question, @Adagio: where do you get the books you read? Library, new purchase, giveaways, used books, borrowed from friends? And what do you do with them afterwards?

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