Quote: Everything has been said before =?windows-1252?Q?=85_Andr=E9_?=Gide.

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Mon Nov 25 19:45:12 UTC 2013

In a recent an essay at "The Atlantic" website the noted author John
Barth presented an English version of a quotation attributed to André
Gide. Off-list I was asked about his quote because a version was used
in a discussion group on 18th Century culture.

Website: The Atlantic
Title: Do I Repeat Myself?
Subtitle: The problem of the 'already said'
Author: John Barth
Section: Essays Fiction 2011
Date: July 5, 2011

[Begin excerpt]
If I could time-travel back to the Egyptian Middle Kingdom, I would
console Khakheperresenb with the familiar paraphrase of Walt Whitman:
"Do I repeat myself? Very well then, I repeat myself." Or André Gide’s
comforting remark, "Everything that needs to be said has already been
said. But since no one was listening, everything must be said again."
[End excerpt]

Here is an alternative translation of the same expression given in an
Oxford Press reference, I believe.

Title: Oxford Treasury of Sayings and Quotations
Editor: Susan Ratcliffe
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Edition: Fourth
Year: 2011
Section: Originality
Quote Page 321
(Google Books Preview)

[Begin excerpt]
Everything has been said before. But since nobody listens we have to
keep going back and beginning all over again.
André Gide 1869–1951: Le Traite du Narcisse
[End excerpt]

Here is a link to the original essay with the quotation in French, I
believe. The match in Google Books is blocked with "No Preview" mode,
so this link goes to the French section of Wikisource:

Title: Le Traité du narcissi: Théorie du symbole
Author: André Gide

[Begin excerpt]
Toutes choses sont dites déjà ; mais comme personne n’écoute, il faut
toujours recommencer.
[End excerpt]


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

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