[Ads-l] Request help tracing a joke in =?UTF-8?Q?=E2=80=9CMcClure's_Magazine=E2=80=9D_?=in 1927

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Fri Dec 28 15:13:55 UTC 2018

This request has been satisfied. Many thanks to those who contacted me
off-list. The October 1927 citation information was correct.

On Fri, Dec 28, 2018 at 9:31 AM ADSGarson O'Toole
<adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com> wrote:
> Quotation expert Nigel Rees just published the January 2019 issue of
> “The ‘Quote...Unquote’ Newsletter” which contains the following
> fascinating challenge:
> [Begin excerpt]
> [Hostess to Oscar Wilde:] ‘Are you enjoying yourself, Mr Wilde?’
> ‘Enormously, Madam, there’s nothing else to enjoy.’
> Curiously, I cannot find a source for this before 1995.
> [End excerpt]
> Rees’s implicit challenge is to find earlier evidence, and to work
> toward tracing this egocentric joke to its origin. Two famous
> quotation magnets, Oscar Wilde and George Bernard Shaw, have been
> assigned authorship of the quip. The phrasing is variable, so I have
> found this task difficult.
> The earliest match (with a different phrasing) I have found occurred
> in the novel “Beau Ideal” by Percival Christopher Wren which was a
> sequel to the very popular work “Beau Geste”. “Beau Ideal” was
> serialized in “McClure’s Magazine” in 1927 and 1928, and I think the
> joke probably appeared on page 84 of the October 1927 issue of
> “McClure's Magazine”, but I need help to verify this. See further
> below if you can access this magazine in 1927. Some issues of
> “McClure's Magazine” are in a ProQuest periodicals database, but I do
> not know whether ProQuest has coverage in 1927.
> “Beau Ideal” was also serialized in “The Des Moines Register” in 1929.
> Here are the details for that match:

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

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