Who said that? Answers to Friday book quotes quiz

The wait is over! Following on from our quiz on Friday, here are the answers to the bookish quiz we set you.

  1. Who wrote the following words?

“All books are either dreams or swords,
You can cut, or you can drug, with words.”

(a) Amy Lowell

(b) J.R.R Tolkien

(c) Hilda Doolittle (HD)

ANSWER: Amy Lowell, an imagist poet from Brookline, Massachusetts said this in her poem ‘Sword Blades and Poppy Seed’ published in 1914.

  1. “Books are made not like children but like pyramids…and they’re just as useless! And they stay in the desert! …Jackals piss at their foot and the bourgeois climb up on them…” claimed which of the following authors:

(a) Franz Kafka

(b) Alphonse Daudet

(c) Gustave Flaubert

ANSWER: This quote came from a letter Gustave Flaubert wrote to Ernest Feydeau in November or December of 1857, published in M. Nadeau (ed.) Correspondence 1857-64 (1965)

  1. Who stated that “Books cannot be killed by fire. People die, but books never die. No man and no force can abolish memory…In this war, we know, books are weapons. And it is a part of your dedication always to make them weapons for man’s freedom.”?

(a) Theodore Roosevelt

(b) Franklin D. Roosevelt

(c) Calvin Coolidge

ANSWER: Franklin D. Roosevelt said this in a ‘Message to the Booksellers of America’ 6 May 1942, in Publisher’s Weekly on the 9th May 1942

  1. “There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written.” avowed which of the following writers?

(a) Oscar Wilde

(b) Charles Dickens

(c) George Eliot

ANSWER: Oscar Wilde published this in the preface of his 1891 book, The Picture of Dorian Gray

  1. Which of these quotations is attributed to theoretical physicist and philosopher of science, Albert Einstein?

(a) “Knowledge exists in two forms – lifeless, stored in books, and alive in the consciousness of men. The second form of existence is after all the essential one; the first, indispensable as it may be, occupies only an inferior position.”

(b) “I never read books – I write

(c) “All books are divisible into two classes, the books of the hour, and the books of all time.”

ANSWER:Knowledge exists in two forms-lifeless, stored in books, and alive in the consciousness of men. The second form of existence is after all the essential one; the first, indispensable as it may be, occupies only an inferior position.” This Einstein quote was published in ‘Message in Honour of Morris Raphael Cohen’ 15 November 1949, in Ideas and Op[inions (1954) pt.1.

  1. “Books must follow sciences, and not sciences books” was stated by which of the following philosophers?

(a) Aristotle

(b) Karl Marx

(c) Francis Bacon

ANSWER: This comes from Resuscitation (1657) ‘Proposition touching Amendment of Laws’ by Francis Bacon.

  1. Which John Milton poem contains the phrase, “Deep-versed in books and shallow in himself”?

(a) Paradise Lost

(b) Comus

(c) Paradise Regained

ANSWER: This Milton quote comes from Paradise Regained (1671) bk. 4 l. 327.

  1. Which Shakespeare play does this quotation come from?

“From women’s eyes this doctrine I derive:
They are the books, the arts, the academes,
That show, contain, and nourish all the world. “

(a) Love’s Labour’s Lost

(b) Twelfth Night

(c) Romeo and Juliet

ANSWER: This verse comes from one of Shakespeare’s earliest comedies Love’s Labours Lost (1595) act 4, sc. 3, l. 340. In his 1623 First Folio the title was spelt Loues Labour’s Lost.

  1. Who wrote: “Of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh”?

(a) The Bible

(b) Pluto

(c) Alexander Pope

ANSWER: This verse can be found in the authorised version (1611) of The Bible in Ecclesiastes ch. 12, v.12

  1. “I think you should only read books which bite and sting you.” was said by which of the following authors?

(a) Franz Kafka

(b) Emily Dickenson

(c) Vladimir Nabokov

ANSWER: The author of Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka, wrote this in a letter to Oskar Pollak dated 27 June 1904


Do you have any favourite bookish quotations you would like to share? We would love to hear them.

9780199668700Oxford Dictionary of Quotations

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