[Ads-l] Quote About Wagner's Music

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Sun Nov 20 19:27:43 UTC 2016

Barry Popik has a valuable entry on the topic here:


The newspapers.com database has some slightly earlier citations:

The "classical music" variant in "Bill Nye's Bureau" article here:

The Shippensburg Chronicle
Shippensburg, Pennsylvania
Thursday, September 1, 1887 - Page 4

The "Wagner's music" variant here:

The Indianapolis News
Indianapolis, Indiana
Friday, November 22, 1889 - Page 2

I will share more details when I have a chance. Alternatively, someone
may antedate these citations.


On Sun, Nov 20, 2016 at 1:46 PM, Shapiro, Fred <fred.shapiro at yale.edu> wrote:
> In the Yale Book of Quotations I cite "Wagner's music is better than it sounds" to Bill Nye, quoted in Mark Twain's Autobiography.  Subsequently I found "Frank said that he would paraphrase the remark of the critic who said that Wagner's music is better than it sounds" in Thomas Wallace Knox's book _The Boy Travellers_ (1891).  I would welcome any information about pre-1891 occurrences of the quote.
> Fred Shapiro
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

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