Category Archives: Quotes

Quotes, from a variety of sources, related to teaching and learning–somewhat more loosely defined than in other categories on Mark’s Text Terminal.

Margaret (Eleanor) Atwood

“(b. 1939) Canadian poet, novelist, and critic. Born in Ottawa, she attended the Univ. of Toronto and Harvard Univ. In the poetry collection The Circle Game (1964; Governor General’s Award), she celebrates the material world and condemns materialism. Her novels, several of which have become bestsellers, include Surfacing (1972), Lady Oracle (1976), Life Before Man (1979), Bodily Harm (1981), The Handmaid’s Tale (1985) Governor General’s Award), Cat’s Eye (1988), The Robber Bride (1993), and Alias Grace (1996). She is noted for her Canadian nationalism and her feminism.”

Excerpted from: Stevens, Mark A., Ed. Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Encyclopedia. Springfield, Massachusetts: Merriam-Webster, 2000.

Abigail Adams’ Prescience on Law and Gender

“In the new Code of Laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make I desire that you would Remember the Ladies, and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the Husbands. Remember all Men would be tyrants if they could. If perticular [sic] care and attention is not paid to the ladies we are determined to foment a Rebelion [sic], and will not hold ourselves bound by any Laws in which we have no voice, or Representation.”

Letter to John Adams, 31 Mar. 1776

Excerpted from: Schapiro, Fred, ed. The Yale Book of Quotations. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006.

Mary Cassatt

“1844-1929) U.S. painter and printmaker, active in Paris. Born in Allegheny City, Pa., she spend her early years traveling in Europe with her wealthy family. She attended the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (1860-65) and later studied in Paris, copying old masters. She became a close friend of E. Degas, who influenced her style and encouraged her to exhibit with the Impressionists, of whose work she became a tireless champion. She portrayed scenes of everyday life, particularly images of mothers and children, ans was skilled at drawing and printmaking. Some of her best works were executed in pastel. Through her social contacts with wealthy private collectors, she promoted Impressionism in the U.S. and exerted a lasting influence on U.S. taste.”

Excerpted from: Stevens, Mark A., Ed. Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Encyclopedia. Springfield, Massachusetts: Merriam-Webster, 2000.

Rotten Reviews: The Violent Bear It Away

“As a specialist in Southern horror stories, Miss O’Conner’s attitude has been wry, her preferences perverse, her audience special.”

Kirkus Reviews

Excerpted from: Bernard, Andre, and Bill Henderson, eds. Pushcart’s Complete Rotten Reviews and Rejections. Wainscott, NY: Pushcart Press, 1998.

Beloved

(1987) A novel by Toni Morrison, winner of the Pulitzer Prize. It is the story of a runaway slave whose desperation forces her to slash her infant daughter’s throat with a handsaw rather than see the child in chains. But eighteen years after the child’s death, a young woman appears and the characters believe she is the slain infant returned to earth. Set in the pre- and post-Civil War era outside Cincinnati, Beloved is developed through a series of flashbacks to the Sweet Home Plantation. The main characters are Sethe, the heroine who is literally haunted by the baby daughter she killed; Beloved, the ghost of Sethe’s child; Paul D., a former slave who knew Sethe when they were together at Sweet Home; and Denver, one of Sethe’s other three children.”

Excerpted from: Murphy, Bruce, ed. Benet’s Reader’s Encyclopedia, Fourth Edition. New York: Harper Collins, 1996.

The Algonquin Wits: Beatrice Kaufman

“George Oppenheimer, while an editor at Viking Press, was once assigned to collect material for a question-book called Ask Me Another. As a promotional gimmick the editors were advised to first test the questions on various celebrities. Covering the ‘famous authors’ section, Oppenheimer asked Beatrice Kaufman: ‘Who wrote The Virginian?’

‘Owen Wister,’ Beatrice answered.

Oppenheimer’s next question read: ‘Who wrote The Virginians?’

Reacting against the gimmicky pattern of the questions, Beatrice answered, ‘Owens Wisters.’”

Excerpted from: Drennan, Robert E., ed. The Algonquin Wits. New York: Kensington, 1985.

Annie Besant

“Annie Besant (born Wood, 1847-1933) English author, theosophist, and political radical. Besant separated from her clergyman husband and became associated with Charles Bradlaugh in the free-thought movement. And advocated of socialism and social reform, she was a member of the Fabian Society, an organizer of labor unions, and a worker among impoverished and delinquent children. Later, after meeting Mme. Blavatsky, she became a leading theosophist in England. Interest in occult theology took her to India (1889), where she founded the Central Hindu College at Benares, and began to agitate for home rule in India. She wrote many religious works as well as her Autobiography (1893), How India Wrought for Freedom (1915), and India, Bond or Free (1926).”

Excerpted from: Murphy, Bruce, ed. Benet’s Reader’s Encyclopedia, Fourth Edition. New York: Harper Collins, 1996.