[Ads-l] Groucho--really?

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Mon Mar 13 17:37:02 EDT 2017


John Baker wrote:
> Of course, as previously discussed on ADS-L, "Inside of a dog
> it's too dark to read" is not an authentic Marxism either; as far
> as we know, it came from Jim Brewer, a kid who contributed it
> to Boys' Life in 1954 (well, the contribution was probably in
> 1953).  And "Why a duck" was spoken by Chico (though written
> by George S. Kaufman).  "I do not care to belong to a club that
> accepts people like me as members" was attributed to Groucho
> personally in 1950, so seems reasonably plausible as an
> authentic quotation.

LH initiated the discussion of the Groucho attributed remark "Inside
of a dog, it’s too dark to read" back in 2010. I created a QI entry
and credited "Top-notch researcher, John Baker" for locating the
"Boys' Life" citation.

http://quoteinvestigator.com/2010/09/08/dog/

The famous club resignation statement from Groucho has multiple
variants which are discussed here:

I Don’t Want to Belong to Any Club That Will Accept Me as a Member
http://quoteinvestigator.com/2011/04/18/groucho-resigns/

Feedback welcome
Garson




> From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of Laurence Horn
> Sent: Friday, March 10, 2017 1:14 PM
> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
> Subject: Re: Groucho--really?
>
>> On Mar 10, 2017, at 12:39 PM, GEOFFREY NUNBERG <nunbergg at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
>>
>> The following quotation is widely ascribed to Groucho Marx:
>>
>>> I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn't arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I'm going to be happy in it.
>>
>> I suppose it’s not impossible that Groucho said such a thing in his sad dotage, but the tenor is awfully un-Marxian.
>
>
> Yes, it certainly doesn’t seem to sit well with the other classic Marxist doctrines, e.g. “Why a duck”, “…Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read”, and of course the philosophers’ favorite, “I wouldn’t want to belong to any club that would have me as a member”
>
> LH
>
>> Can anybody help to trace the actual source of the quote—or what’s really more interesting (if I’m right), its first misattribution?
>>
>> Geoff
>>
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