Give me a quote!
April 7, 2009 12:20 PM Subscribe
I am writing a short story and I would like to have one of the characters in this story quote a real historical figure. I do not have a specific quote in mind, but I have certain ideas about the character that dictate certain parameters for the quote. I would like to solicit the hivemind for suggestions, as my Google-Fu has thus far failed me in selecting something viable. If you accept this mission, you will find details below the fold.
posted by kbanas to Writing & Language (26 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Essentially, in broad strokes, this character is a highly educated pretentious asshole. Like, he's an over the top caricature of a highly educated pretentious asshole. Caricature is key.
During a certain conversation, while discussing a really banal subject, I would like for him to quote someone else.
In my mind, the ideal quote would be from an obscure French philosopher - and, even better, he would quote him in French.
I feel like the elements of the quote A) being in a foreign language B) being from an obscure academic-type combine in a perfect storm of hyperbole to illustrate my point.
It could be in German or, really, any language other than English, although an English translation is also necessary for my purposes.
The actual content of the quote is mostly irrelevant. I can pretty much twist the conversation to fit the quote. If you feel like the quote could somehow be applied to a thematic element of Battlestar Galactica, that would be absolutely awesome - but I think at that point I'm asking a little too much of everyone, because, seriously, I understand that makes very little sense.
I found several quotes that I thought were OK, but they had all been translated to English, and I am loathe to run them through a translation engine to get back to the native language because that will undoubtedly look stupid and be wrong.
Alternatively, if you feel like you could translate a quote back to its language of origin, you could make a note of this and I could send you one via Metafilter mail and you could provide me a very helpful service and I would be in your debt.