Quote: "Horace Greeley is 'a self-made man who worships his Creator'" (1868)

Charles C Doyle cdoyle at UGA.EDU
Wed Jun 11 13:25:26 UTC 2014

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Good quotations, Robin.  However, isn't the essence of the joke or quip not the concept of the self-made man per se, but rather the follow-up point about his worship or adoration his creator?


Poster:       Robin Hamilton

From: ADSGarson O'Toole

There is a family of jokes that follow two basic templates:

He is a self-made man, and he worships his creator.
He is a self-made man, and he adores his maker

Reminds me of Coriolanus, "[I] will stand / As if a man were author of
himself / And knew no other kin". (V.iii).

Possibly echoing Pico della Mirandola, _Oration_, where man is somewhat
heretically suggested to be "the maker and moulder of himself".

So the trope maybe can be carried back as far as the Renaissance Phoenix of
his time.

Robin Hamilton

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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