[Ads-l] Request help accessing New York Herald Tribune ProQuest database in 1951 (Variety 1951 would be helpful too)

George Thompson george.thompson at NYU.EDU
Wed Nov 4 16:18:20 UTC 2015

I have this, but ADS-L won't deal with a message with the text attached.

It didn't show up in searching the NYH-T database for "delusions" and
"adequacy", because the text, as printed, has "ade- [line break] quacy"
One of the many perils of searching a database digitized after the fact.


On Wed, Nov 4, 2015 at 10:43 AM, ADSGarson O'Toole <
adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com> wrote:

> ADS People: Your aid is requested for the exploration of a famous barb
> aimed at an actor by a theater critic. Here is a common modern version
> of the quotation:
> He has delusions of adequacy.
> Versions of the quotation appear in Cassell's Humorous Quotations
> (2001), Random House Webster's Quotationary (2001), Oxymoronica
> (2004), No Turn Unstoned (1983), and other references.
> I think the theater critic was Walter Kerr, and the review was printed
> in The New York Herald Tribune in October 1951. The target text was:
> [Begin extracted text]
> Mr. Robinson was game, all right. But what is gameness in a man who is
> suffering from delusions of adequacy?
> [End extracted text]
> The goal is to gain access to the PDF containing the review so that a
> complete and accurate citation can be constructed. In addition,
> verifying the full name of the lacerated actor and the theater
> production would be useful.
> The ProQuest New York Herald Tribune database (in 1951) is apparently
> available at the following institutions: University of Notre Dame,
> University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, New York City Public
> Library, and Princeton. It is available at other locations, but
> ProQuest does not release that type of information.
> I found a match using the Variety database, but I do not have
> subscription to that fine database which costs $600 per year. When my
> book about quotations is transformed into a Hollywood blockbuster I
> will gladly pay the subscription fee. Until then . . .
> If you have access to the Variety database at varietyultimate.com (or
> via ProQuest) and can share the PDF for the following article it would
> be very helpful:
> Date: October 24th, 1951
> Periodical: Variety
> Article: Unknown
> Author: Unknown
> Database: Variety Page Scans at varietyultimate.com (also ProQuest)
> (Data obtained from search performed without database access. Page
> scans were not examined)
> [Begin extracted text]
> Walter F. Kerr, guest critic of the Herald Tribune, after seemingly
> being hogtied by "Sleep of Prisoners," hit his stride with the
> "Ribbons" notice, getting off the prize quip of the week with the
> observation that Robinson "is suffering from delusions of adequacy."
> The reviewer has since maintained a readable, perceptive level in his
> notices.
> [End extracted text]
> Thanks for your help,
> Garson
> QuoteInvestigator.com
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

George A. Thompson
The Guy Who Still Looks Stuff Up in Books.
Author of A Documentary History of "The African Theatre", Northwestern
Univ. Pr., 1998..

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

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