[Ads-l] a couple of quotations: sources needed

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Thu Sep 3 04:24:39 UTC 2015


The quotation about Bloomsbury has many variants. Below is an instance
attributed to Margaret Irwin in the Google Books database in a book
with a GB year of 1960. Only a snippet was visible but the snippet
revealed a date of March 29, 1941. Apparently, the excerpt below
appeared in the New Statesman in 1941. Maybe something similar can be
found in the 1920s or 1930s.

Year: 1960
Book title: Critic's London Diary: From the New Statesman, 1931-1956
Book author: Kingsley Martin
Date within text: March 29, 1941
Quote Page 94
Publisher: Secker & Warburg, London
Database: Google Books Snippet View; data may be inaccurate and should
be checked on paper; 1941 date is visible in snippet with quotation
text

https://books.google.com/books?id=mKYeAAAAIAAJ

[Begin excerpt]
                                                            29 March, 1941

I wonder what people mean by "Bloomsbury"? I asked myself as I looked
at the dismantled flat. Certainly it is no longer what Margaret Irwin
used to describe in the twenties as the place where "all the couples
were triangles and lived in squares". Whatever it was once, it is gone
now.
[End excerpt]

Garson

On Wed, Sep 2, 2015 at 10:56 PM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: a couple of quotations: sources needed
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
>> On Sep 2, 2015, at 8:12 PM, George Thompson <george.thompson at NYU.EDU> =
> wrote:
>>=20
>> An article in the August 14, 2015 TLS refers to an "apocryphal =
> description"
>> by Dorothy Parker of the Bloomsbury group as "living in squares, =
> painting
>> in circles and loving in triangles".  It's not in YBQ -- i didn't look =
> in
>> the other quote books I have, and in general, I don't look things up
>> on-line -- sorry about that.
>
>
> Hmm.  An wonderful line from Dorothy Parker about the Bloomsburys to be =
> sure, whether or not apocryphal (though a shame if it is).  And it is =
> all over the web, without an obvious source.  But it was the phrasing =
> that caused a brief double-take for me.  I took the reference to
>
> 'an "apocryphal description" by Dorothy Parker of the Bloomsbury group =
> as "living in squares, painting in circles and loving in triangles"'
>
> as thrusting Parker herself from the Algonquin Circle into the complex =
> group algebras of the Bloomsburys (which she might have enjoyed for a =
> bit).  And all because of the syntactic versatility of "of"; "Dorothy =
> Parker's 'apocryphal description' of the Bloomsbury group..." wouldn't =
> have allowed those same enticing possibilities.
>
> LH
>
>> Whoever said it, it's a witty remark, and all too true.
>> It's been taken for the title of a new book on the group, by Amy =
> License:
>> Living in Squares, Loving in Triangles.
>>=20
>
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