Any other famous works within works?
December 2, 2009 6:40 PM   Subscribe

I remember, and know people who have memorized, the Gunslinger's Creed from the Stephen King books and the Litany Against Fear from the Dune books. They may be more famous than the books themselves. And I was wondering: is there anything else like that? A literary work inside and literary work that is more famous (or as famous) as the work containing it?

For those who have no idea what I mean:

I do not aim with my hand; he who aims with his hand has forgotten the face of his father.
I aim with my eye.
I do not shoot with my gun; he who shoots with his gun has forgotten the face of his father.
I shoot with my mind.
I do not kill with my gun; he who kills with his gun has forgotten the face of his father.
I kill with my heart.
-Gunslinger's Creed

I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.
-Litany Against Fear
posted by sarahkeebs to Media & Arts (97 answers total) 47 users marked this as a favorite
It's not more famous than its brooding container, but The Murder of Gonzago is sometimes cited or alluded to as a discrete work.
posted by rokusan at 6:44 PM on December 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

Although not written out inside the stories, the Necronomicon is probably tons more recognizable than Lovecraft and the Mythos writers.
posted by cobaltnine at 6:45 PM on December 2, 2009 [6 favorites]

Most of my favorite quotes from waiting for guffman are from the 'play' within the movie.
posted by Think_Long at 6:45 PM on December 2, 2009

The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.

-The Road Goes Ever On
posted by rokusan at 6:48 PM on December 2, 2009 [2 favorites]

Not quite the same thing, but: "Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya..."
posted by kindall at 6:49 PM on December 2, 2009 [5 favorites]

The first thing I thought of is the poem from The Lord of the Rings ("...One ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them...") but I'm not sure how well-known that is outside of my own obsessive head.
posted by something something at 6:49 PM on December 2, 2009


One ring to rule them all;
One ring to find them;
One ring to bring them all
And in the darkness bind them

From, of course, The Lord of The Rings, which is actually really just itself a snippet of a larger poem in the book.

Hmm. There are probably a few more. Shakespeare was fond of plays-within-plays. Umberto Eco's The Name of The Rose is framed as a found manuscript, as is The Navidson Record in Mark Z. Danielewski's House of Leaves.
posted by Nomiconic at 6:49 PM on December 2, 2009

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves

Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought—
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! and through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

"And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!"
He chortled in his joy.

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.
posted by macadamiaranch at 6:51 PM on December 2, 2009 [15 favorites]

The Jabberwocky, perhaps?
posted by unknowncommand at 6:51 PM on December 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

posted by unknowncommand at 6:51 PM on December 2, 2009

The Necronomicon from Lovecraft

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

The various papers attributed to Sherlock Holmes in the Doyle books e.g. On the Study of Tobaccos and their Ashes.

The Grand Inquisitor interlude in Dostoyevsky's Brother's Karamazov (also the Notes from the Life of the Elder Zosima from the same book)

There are gazillions of these, but these stick out to my mind as some of the best.
posted by pseudonick at 6:52 PM on December 2, 2009

The Grand Inquisitor from Crime and Punishment?

Were the Notebooks of Lazarus Long by Heinlein ever part of a bigger book? Seems to me they were, but I can't remember.
posted by small_ruminant at 6:54 PM on December 2, 2009

on preview...
posted by small_ruminant at 6:54 PM on December 2, 2009

The altered Seven Commandments in Animal Farm, especially the sheeps' version "Four Legs Good, Two Legs Bad" and "All Animals Are Equal But Some Are More Equal Than Others".
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 6:56 PM on December 2, 2009 [2 favorites]

I believe in the soul. The cock. The pussy.
The small of a woman's back. The hanging curveball. High fiber. Good scotch.
I believe that the novels of Susan Sontag are self-indulgent, overrated crap.
I believe Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone.
I believe there ought to be a Constitutional Amendment outlawing astroturf and the designated hitter.
I believe in the sweet spot, soft-core pornography, opening your presents Christmas morning and not on Christmas Eve.
And I believe in long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses that last three days.

- Bull Durham (and certainly more famous than the rest of the film.)
posted by rokusan at 6:57 PM on December 2, 2009

Oh, speaking of Lovecraft, the famous couplet:

That is not dead which can eternal lie / And with strange aeons even death may die

is almost certainly more well-known than the actual story it's from.
posted by Nomiconic at 6:57 PM on December 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

From East Egg, then, came the Chester Beckers and the Leeches, and a man named Bunsen, whom I knew at Yale, and Doctor Webster Civet, who was drowned last summer up in Maine. And the Hornbeams and the Willie Voltaires, and a whole clan named Blackbuck, who always gathered in a corner and flipped up their noses like goats at whosoever came near. And the Ismays and the Chrysties (or rather Hubert Auerbach and Mr. Chrystie’s wife), and Edgar Beaver, whose hair, they say, turned cotton-white one winter afternoon for no good reason at all.

Clarence Endive was from East Egg, as I remember. He came only once, in white knickerbockers, and had a fight with a bum named Etty in the garden. From farther out on the Island came the Cheadles and the O. R. P. Schraeders, and the Stonewall Jackson Abrams of Georgia, and the Fishguards and the Ripley Snells. Snell was there three days before he went to the penitentiary, so drunk out on the gravel drive that Mrs. Ulysses Swett’s automobile ran over his right hand. The Dancies came, too, and S. B. Whitebait, who was well over sixty, and Maurice A. Flink, and the Hammerheads, and Beluga the tobacco importer, and Beluga’s girls.

From West Egg came the Poles and the Mulreadys and Cecil Roebuck and Cecil Schoen and Gulick the state senator and Newton Orchid, who controlled Films Par Excellence, and Eckhaust and Clyde Cohen and Don S. Schwartze (the son) and Arthur McCarty, all connected with the movies in one way or another. And the Catlips and the Bembergs and G. Earl Muldoon, brother to that Muldoon who afterward strangled his wife. Da Fontano the promoter came there, and Ed Legros and James B. (“Rot-Gut.”) Ferret and the De Jongs and Ernest Lilly—they came to gamble, and when Ferret wandered into the garden it meant he was cleaned out and Associated Traction would have to fluctuate profitably next day.

A man named Klipspringer was there so often and so long that he became known as “the boarder.”—I doubt if he had any other home. Of theatrical people there were Gus Waize and Horace O’donavan and Lester Meyer and George Duckweed and Francis Bull. Also from New York were the Chromes and the Backhyssons and the Dennickers and Russel Betty and the Corrigans and the Kellehers and the Dewars and the Scullys and S. W. Belcher and the Smirkes and the young Quinns, divorced now, and Henry L. Palmetto, who killed himself by jumping in front of a subway train in Times Square.

Benny McClenahan arrived always with four girls. They were never quite the same ones in physical person, but they were so identical one with another that it inevitably seemed they had been there before. I have forgotten their names—Jaqueline, I think, or else Consuela, or Gloria or Judy or June, and their last names were either the melodious names of flowers and months or the sterner ones of the great American capitalists whose cousins, if pressed, they would confess themselves to be.

In addition to all these I can remember that Faustina O’brien came there at least once and the Baedeker girls and young Brewer, who had his nose shot off in the war, and Mr. Albrucksburger and Miss Haag, his fiancee, and Ardita Fitz-Peters and Mr. P. Jewett, once head of the American Legion, and Miss Claudia Hip, with a man reputed to be her chauffeur, and a prince of something, whom we called Duke, and whose name, if I ever knew it, I have forgotten.

All these people came to Gatsby’s house in the summer.
posted by grumblebee at 7:00 PM on December 2, 2009

From a friend: The Theory and Practice of Oligarchichal Collectivism from 1984.
posted by dilettante at 7:01 PM on December 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

"John Shade's" "Pale Fire" is, in my opinion, way, way better than the book of the same title as a whole.

I was the shadow of the waxwing slain
By the false azure of the windowpane...

posted by oinopaponton at 7:07 PM on December 2, 2009

See fictional book and story within a story.
posted by Paragon at 7:12 PM on December 2, 2009

The Agnostic's prayer from Roger Zelazny's Creatures of Light and Darkness:

Insofar as I may be heard by anything, which may or may not care what I say, I ask, if it matters, that you be forgiven for anything you may have done or failed to do which requires forgiveness. Conversely, if not forgiveness but something else may be required to insure any possible benefit for which you may be eligible after the destruction of your body, I ask that this, whatever it may be, be granted or withheld, as the case may be, in such a manner as to insure your receiving said benefit. I ask this in my capacity as your elected intermediary between yourself and that which may not be yourself, but which may have an interest in the matter of your receiving as much as it is possible for you to receive of this thing, and which may in some way be influenced by this ceremony.

posted by fings at 7:14 PM on December 2, 2009 [9 favorites]

I suppose many, many, many songs from musicals fit your criteria, where the song is better known than the musical that contained it, though you probably did not intend those to count.

I mean, if you know these songs but not what they're from, that fits, right?

I Feel Pretty!
Old Man River
Oh, What a Beautiful Morning
There's No Business Like Show Business
and hundreds more.
posted by rokusan at 7:16 PM on December 2, 2009 [2 favorites]

This happens in visual art as well; consider the two putti at the bottom of this painting by Raphael.
posted by oulipian at 7:16 PM on December 2, 2009 [5 favorites]

The Bhagavad Gita is an episode in the great Indian epic the Mahabharata. The Gita is certainly the better known text.
posted by brianogilvie at 7:17 PM on December 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

Dean Koontz referenced verses from The Book of Counted Sorrows so often in his novels that people began looking for it because they wanted to read it. Unfortunately it was just something he had made up. I believe he wrote a book called The Book of Counted Sorrows later on.
posted by christinetheslp at 7:20 PM on December 2, 2009

The videotapes in The Ring and Videodrome are recognizable on their own, but I'm not sure they're better-known than their containing films.
posted by rokusan at 7:24 PM on December 2, 2009

Night's Watch Oath from George RR Martin's A song of Ice and Fire:

Night gathers, and now my watch begins. It shall not end until my death. I shall take no wife, hold no lands, father no children. I shall wear no crowns and win no glory. I shall live and die at my post. I am the sword in the darkness. I am the watcher on the walls. I am the fire that burns against the cold, the light that brings the dawn, the horn that wakes the sleepers, the shield that guards the realms of men. I pledge my life and honor to the Night's Watch, for this night and all the nights to come.
posted by iamabot at 7:25 PM on December 2, 2009

Not a fictional literary work, but a fictional sci-fi author to whom many fictional books are attributed: Kilgore Trout. He also apparently escaped the bonds of fiction and published a real book.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 7:27 PM on December 2, 2009 [3 favorites]

A nineteenth-century example: almost nobody reads Sir Walter Scott's Redgauntlet nowadays, but it contains an extremely famous short story, "Wandering Wille's Tale," that gets anthologized on a regular basis.
posted by thomas j wise at 7:34 PM on December 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

Were the Notebooks of Lazarus Long by Heinlein ever part of a bigger book? Seems to me they were, but I can't remember.

Yeah, they were in Time Enough for Love. As sort of interludes between chapters, if I recall.
posted by Netzapper at 7:35 PM on December 2, 2009

The Way of the Pilgrim, in Franny and Zooey by Salinger. It didn't become more famous than the book I suppose, but it did haul it back from relative obscurity.

nice question!
posted by a womble is an active kind of sloth at 7:40 PM on December 2, 2009

From The Mikado (this is often used as a vocal exercise):
To sit in solemn silence in a dull dark dock
in a pestilential prison with a life long lock
awaiting the sensation of a short sharp shock
from a cheap and chippy chopper on a big black block
From The Pirates of Penzance:
I am the very model of a modern Major-General
I've information vegetable, animal, and mineral
I know the kings of England, and I quote the fights historical
From Marathon to Waterloo, in order categorical

I'm very well acquainted, too, with matters mathematical
I understand equations, both the simple and quadratical
About binomial theorem I'm teeming with a lot o' news
With many cheerful facts about the square of the hypotenuse

With many cheerful facts about the square of the hypotenuse
With many cheerful facts about the square of the hypotenuse
With many cheerful facts about the square of the hypote-potenuse
&c. &c.
From Pride and Prejudice: "It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife."
posted by ocherdraco at 7:42 PM on December 2, 2009 [3 favorites]

posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 7:50 PM on December 2, 2009

not exactly purported to be a separate work but there's the both the Deliverator and baddest mother fucker umm deliverances from Snow Crash.

Also not strictly akin to the examples but I might add both the Sermon on the Mount and the 10 Commandments.

Partially in homage, with more than a little cheek, there's Terry Pratchett's Necrotelecomnicon which is elevated to the status of character in it's own right.
posted by mce at 7:51 PM on December 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

THE CRYSTAL WIND is the Storm, and the Storm is Data, and the
Data is Life.
-- The Players Litany


Faster, faster, faster, until the thrill of speed overcomes the fear
of death.
-- The Speedfreak Slogan

from The Long Run (PDF) By Daniel Keys Moran
posted by Confess, Fletch at 7:51 PM on December 2, 2009

From, of course, The Lord of The Rings, which is actually really just itself a snippet of a larger poem in the book.

Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,
Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,
Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die,
One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne,
In the land of Mordor where the shadows lie.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them,
In the land of Mordor where the shadows lie.

(in case anyone was wondering)
posted by Bonzai at 8:08 PM on December 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.

Tolkien The Fellowship of the Ring
posted by pywacket at 8:10 PM on December 2, 2009 [5 favorites]

Man, this is a fascinating AskMe.

In the same vein, this got me thinking of the first Chuck Palahniuk book I ever really enjoyed - Haunted. Its basically a story that sets up a whole series of short stories, where a group of horror writers go on a retreat and wind up in a locked mansion, dying one by one. Each of them writes a story before they die (I think ..) and the stories tend to tie back into the satirical murder mystery.
posted by mannequito at 8:11 PM on December 2, 2009

I think a lot of people remember "McKee's 10 commandments of screenwriting" more than the rest of the movie "Adaptation."

I'm actually not sure if they're "fictional" or not; there's no mention of anything that simplistic in the book "Story," but he may really hand them out at his seminar. Or it may just have been a plot device.
posted by drjimmy11 at 8:14 PM on December 2, 2009

Also this doesn't exactly fit, but there's the USS Indianapolis speech from "Jaws." It's not really a "work" within the film, and the film is quite famous on its own, but it is very distinct in tone from the rest of the film- and it was actually written by a different screenwriter (John Milius) than the rest of the script.

Quint: Japanese submarine slammed two torpedoes into our side, Chief. We was comin' back from the island of Tinian to Leyte... just delivered the bomb. The Hiroshima bomb. Eleven hundred men went into the water. Vessel went down in 12 minutes. Didn't see the first shark for about a half an hour. Tiger. 13-footer. You know how you know that when you're in the water, Chief? You tell by looking from the dorsal to the tail. What we didn't know, was our bomb mission had been so secret, no distress signal had been sent. They didn't even list us overdue for a week. Very first light, Chief, sharks come cruisin', so we formed ourselves into tight groups. You know, it was kinda like old squares in the battle like you see in the calendar named "The Battle of Waterloo" and the idea was: shark comes to the nearest man, that man he starts poundin' and hollerin' and screamin' and sometimes the shark go away... but sometimes he wouldn't go away. Sometimes that shark he looks right into ya. Right into your eyes. And, you know, the thing about a shark... he's got lifeless eyes. Black eyes. Like a doll's eyes. When he comes at ya, doesn't seem to be living... until he bites ya, and those black eyes roll over white and then... ah then you hear that terrible high-pitched screamin'. The ocean turns red, and despite all the poundin' and the hollerin', they all come in and they... rip you to pieces. You know by the end of that first dawn, lost a hundred men. I don't know how many sharks, maybe a thousand. I know how many men, they averaged six an hour. On Thursday morning, Chief, I bumped into a friend of mine, Herbie Robinson from Cleveland. Baseball player. Boatswain's mate. I thought he was asleep. I reached over to wake him up. Bobbed up, down in the water just like a kinda top. Upended. Well, he'd been bitten in half below the waist. Noon, the fifth day, Mr. Hooper, a Lockheed Ventura saw us. He swung in low and he saw us... he was a young pilot, a lot younger than Mr. Hooper. Anyway, he saw us and he come in low and three hours later a big fat PBY comes down and starts to pick us up. You know that was the time I was most frightened... waitin' for my turn. I'll never put on a lifejacket again. So, eleven hundred men went in the water; 316 men come out and the sharks took the rest, June the 29th, 1945. Anyway, we delivered the bomb.
posted by drjimmy11 at 8:17 PM on December 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

In Phillip K. Dick's alternative-history novel The Man in the High Castle (in which the Axis powers were victorious in WWII), an important plot element is the counter-cultural novel entitled The Grasshopper Lies Heavy, which is an alternative-history novel set in a world where the Allies were victorious . . .

posted by General Tonic at 8:24 PM on December 2, 2009 [3 favorites]

"The Rifleman's Creed (also known as My Rifle and The Creed of the United States Marine) is a part of basic United States Marine Corps doctrine. Major General William H. Rupertus wrote it during World War II, probably in late 1941 or early 1942. All Marines learn the creed at recruit training and they are expected to live by it. Different, more concise versions of the creed have developed since its early days, but those closest to the original version remain the most widely accepted." - wikipedia

Several war movies show new recruits in Marine Corps boot camp reciting variations of the creed, particularly Full Metal Jacket and Jarhead.
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 8:25 PM on December 2, 2009 [2 favorites]

I'm fond of Patrick's Rune, from A Swiftly Tilting Planet by Madeleine L'Engle. It's inspired by an old Irish hymn; I don't know if that counts as being "well-known."
At Tara in this fateful hour,
I place all Heaven with its power,
And the sun with its brightness,
And the snow with its whiteness,
And the fire with all the strength it hath,
And the lightning with its rapid wrath,
And the winds with their swiftness along their path,
And the sea with its deepness,
And the rocks with their steepness,
And the Earth with its starkness —
All these I place
By God's almighty help and grace
Between myself and the powers of darkness.
posted by teraflop at 8:31 PM on December 2, 2009 [8 favorites]

The Sorrows of Young Werther references the poems of Ossian, which turned out to be literary frauds.
posted by UrineSoakedRube at 8:33 PM on December 2, 2009

How about the John Lillison poems from Steve Martin's films?

In Dillan's Grove
In Dillan's Grove my love did die,
and now in ground shall ever lie.
None could ever replace her visage,
until your face brought thoughts of kissage.

Pointy Bird
O pointy birds, o pointy pointy,
Anoint my head, anointy-nointy.
posted by kindall at 8:35 PM on December 2, 2009 [4 favorites]

This isn't a literary work, but the first thing that popped into my head upon reading the question was The Monkees.
posted by socratic at 8:41 PM on December 2, 2009

No matter where you go, there you are.

Widely misattributed but originally from Buckaroo Banzai, Across the 8th Dimension.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 8:52 PM on December 2, 2009 [2 favorites]

Don Quixote by Pierre Menard.
posted by darkpony at 8:55 PM on December 2, 2009 [3 favorites]

Widely misattributed but originally from Buckaroo Banzai, Across the 8th Dimension.

posted by JaredSeth at 8:57 PM on December 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

"The King in Yellow" from "The King in Yellow"
posted by darkpony at 8:58 PM on December 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

Borges has lots of stories where fictional books within the stories are very important.
posted by Falconetti at 9:03 PM on December 2, 2009

In the same vein, this got me thinking of the first Chuck Palahniuk book I ever really enjoyed...

Tangential, but Palahniuk also has at least two other novels in which a fictional book acts as a key plot device: Lullaby (meh) and Invisible Monsters (decent).
posted by rokusan at 9:10 PM on December 2, 2009

The Walrus and the Carpenter from Through the Looking-Glass
Not more famous than the book, but one of its best parts.

"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--
Of cabbages--and kings--
And why the sea is boiling hot--
And whether pigs have wings."
posted by SLC Mom at 9:12 PM on December 2, 2009 [6 favorites]

No matter where you go, there you are.

Widely misattributed but originally from Buckaroo Banzai, Across the 8th Dimension.

It's probably much older, but at the very least note the subtitle of this book cover from 1972: Link.
posted by rokusan at 9:15 PM on December 2, 2009

An Eschatological Laundry List taken from
If You Meet the Buddha on the Road, Kill Him!
The Pilgrimage of Psychotherapy Patients
by Sheldon Kopp

An Eschatological Laundry List
1. This is it.
2. There are no hidden meanings.
3. You can't get there from here, and besides there is no place to go.
4. We are already dying, and we'll be dead a long time.
5. Nothing lasts!
6. There is no way of getting all you want.
7. You can't have anything unless you let go of it.
8. You only get to keep what you give away.
9. There is no particular reason why you lost out on some things.
10. The world is not necessarily just. Being good often does not pay off and there's no compensation for misfortune.
11. You have the responsibility to do your best nonetheless.
12. It's a random universe to which we bring meaning.
13. You really don't control anything.
14. You can't make anyone love you.
15. No one is any stronger or any weaker than anyone else.
16. Everyone is, in his own way, vulnerable.
17. There are no great men.
18. If you have a hero, look again; you have diminished yourself in some way.
19. Everyone lies, cheats, pretends. (yes, you too, and most certainly myself.)
20. All evil is potentially vitality in need of transformation.
21. All of you is worth something if you will only own it.
22. Progress is an illusion.
23. Evil can be displaced but never eradicated, as all solutions breed new problems.
24. Yet it is necessary to keep struggling toward solution.
25. Childhood is a nightmare.
26. But it is so very hard to be an on-your-own, take-care-of-yourself-cause-there-is-no-one-else-to-do-it-for-you grown-up.
27. Each of us is ultimately alone.
28. The most important things each man must do for himself.
29. Love is not enough, but it sure helps.
30. We have only ourselves, and one another. That may not be much, but that's all there is.
31. How strange, that so often, it all seems worth it.
32. We must live within the ambiguity of partial freedom, partial power, and partial knowledge.
33. All important decisions must be made on the basis of insufficient data.
34. Yet we are responsible for everything we do.
35. No excuses will be accepted.
36. You can run, but you can't hide.
37. It is most important to run out of scapegoats.
38. We must learn the power of living with our helplessness.
39. The only victory lies is in surrender to oneself.
40. All of the significant battles are waged within the self.
41. You are free to do whatever you like. You need only face the consequences.
42. What do you know for sure...anyway?
43. Learn to forgive yourself, again and again and again and again.
posted by dancestoblue at 9:21 PM on December 2, 2009 [28 favorites]

The Lady of Shalott is something I have tried to memorize for a long time; it's never quite stuck. If I could ever get it down though I'd feel dead sexy.
posted by ZaneJ. at 9:37 PM on December 2, 2009

Further to the animals' Seven Commandments in Orwell, the Ten Commandments fit your description (for a certain definition of "fiction").
The stone tablets of the Decalogue are either mythical or no longer exist, were written by God and given to Moses on Sinai. Now they're just in Christian and Jewish religious text.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 9:54 PM on December 2, 2009

"No man is an island. entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were; any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee. "

John Donne, from Meditation 17 in the otherwise largely forgettable Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions
posted by dr. boludo at 10:08 PM on December 2, 2009 [3 favorites]

John Donne, from Meditation 17 in the otherwise largely forgettable Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions

A fine example, as Donne coins three phrases vivid enough to be become future cliches in eighty words and with the rest of the work, er, does not.

I would also submit that Will Shakespeare had a way with a turn of phrase. However, you can search for a long time through Henry VI, Parts I, II and III and find not a single line you recognize from common culture, save for "The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers". (Act IV, Scene II of Part II).

If Meditation 17 is Jonny D on a hot streak, the Henry VI trilogy of Billy Shakes on an epic dry spell.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 11:03 PM on December 2, 2009

I don't know if it's famous (yet), but, from Thud!, by Terry Pratchett:

Where's my cow?
Is that my cow?
It goes, "Baa!"
It is a sheep!
That's not my cow!

Where's my cow?
Is that my cow?
It goes, "Neigh!"
It is a horse!
That's not my cow!

Where's my cow?
Is that my cow?
It goes, "Hruuugh!"
It is a hippopotamus!
That's not my cow!

Etc., etc.
"Eventually the cow would be found. It was that much of a page-turner. Of course, some suspense was lent by the fact that all other animals were presented in some way that could have confused a kitten, who perhaps had been raised in a darkened room."
posted by Dipsomaniac at 11:10 PM on December 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

Also (and I thought of this right after I hit "Post"), while the Three Laws of Robotics may not be a literary work:

1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
2. A robot must obey any orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

they certainly are famous, and contained within a work, and the first mention of the First Law is also the first recorded mention of the word "robotics".
posted by Dipsomaniac at 11:13 PM on December 2, 2009 [3 favorites]

You could say that the rules of Fight Club have grown beyond the film. I imagine if you were to say 'The first rule of Fight Club...' you'd be surprised how many people could finish the line. Still, the rest of the rules, as a group, I think, fit what you're looking for.

Also, perhaps,

"The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America is ruled by it like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game, is a part of our past, Ray. It reminds us of all that once was good, and that could be again. Oh, people will come, Ray. People will come most definitely come."

posted by Ghidorah at 11:51 PM on December 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

John Donne, from Meditation 17 in the otherwise largely forgettable Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions

A fine example, as Donne coins three phrases vivid enough to be become future cliches in eighty words and with the rest of the work, er, does not.

1. No man is an island.

2. for whom the bell tolls (?)

3. ?
posted by skwt at 12:21 AM on December 3, 2009

The Notebooks of Lazarus Long are from Time Enough for Love. A few of my personal favorites:

Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig.

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.

When the need arises--and it does--you must be able too shoot your own dog. Don’t farm it out--that doesn’t make it nicer, it makes it worse.

Everything in excess! To enjoy the flavor of life, take big bites. Moderation is for monks.
posted by citysquirrel at 12:42 AM on December 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

Vogon poetry:

Oh freddled gruntbuggly
Thy micturations are to me
As plurdled gabbleblotchits on a lurgid bee.
Groop I implore thee, my foonting turlingdromes
And hooptiously drangle me with crinkly bindlewurdles,
Or I will rend thee in the gobberwarts with my blurglecruncheon,
See if I don't!
posted by DreamerFi at 2:13 AM on December 3, 2009

Perhaps these examples might count?

Aristophanes' story of the origin of love, as related in Plato's Symposium and brilliantly turned into a song in Hedwig and the Angry Inch:

"His speech is an explanation of why people in love say they feel "whole" when they have found their love partner. It is, he says, because in primal times people were globular spheres who wheeled around like clowns doing cartwheels (190a). There were three sexes: the all male, the all female, and the "androgynous," who was half man, half woman. The creatures tried to scale the heights of heaven and planned to set upon the gods (190b-c). Zeus thought about just blasting them to death with thunderbolts, but did not want to deprive himself of their devotions and offerings, so he decided to cripple them by chopping them in half.

After chopping the people in half, Zeus turned half their faces around and pulled the skin tight and stitched it up to form the belly button. Ever since that time, people run around saying they are looking for their other half because they are really trying to recover their primal nature."

I'd also throw in the beginning of Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities, with its famous parody of Ecclesiastes 3:1-8. Not that A Tale of Two Cities isn't justly well-known, but it can be argued that most people who know these lines aren't immediately thinking of A Tale of Two Cities:

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way - in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only."
posted by so much modern time at 2:15 AM on December 3, 2009 [3 favorites]

Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption as part of Different Seasons perhaps?

I have a question about what you're asking...three options (or, 'reads', if you will)

A) You're looking for examples of passages, creeds, works, poems, etc. that happen to be part of another work (located inside of the work, but not semantically defined as a piece of work, relative to the plot of the book)
B) Plot elements of a work that are labeled as poems, novels, etc. For example, the movie The Neverending Story – where the story we all know (Atreu, Falcor, etc.) is contained in an actual BOOK, as part of the plot. And it is bigger to us, out here in the real world, than the actual main narrative space of The Neverending Story (a boy named Sebastian ditches school and reads a book in an attic).
C) Either interpretation.

Just curious which you're interested in. Rita Hayworth/Shawshank Redemption is interpretation A; The Neverending Story is interpretation B.
posted by iamkimiam at 2:35 AM on December 3, 2009

"Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a fucking big television, Choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players, and electrical tin openers. Choose good health, low cholesterol and dental insurance. Choose fixed-interest mortgage repayments. Choose a starter home. Choose your friends. Choose leisure wear and matching luggage. Choose a three piece suite on hire purchase in a range of fucking fabrics. Choose DIY and wondering who the fuck you are on a Sunday morning. Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing spirit-crushing game shows, stuffing fucking junk food into your mouth. Choose rotting away at the end of it all, pissing your last in a miserable home, nothing more than an embarrassment to the selfish, fucked-up brats you have spawned to replace yourself. Choose your future. Choose life . . . But why would I want to do a thing like that? I chose not to choose life: I chose something else. And the reasons? There are no reasons. Who needs reasons when you've got heroin?"
posted by pupdog at 3:53 AM on December 3, 2009 [4 favorites]

"Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It's hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It's round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you've got about a hundred years here. There's only one rule that I know of, babies—God damn it, you've got to be kind."
posted by ocherdraco at 5:08 AM on December 3, 2009 [3 favorites]

The Princess Bride is another iamkimiam-type-B, where the entire story is about a man reading a book called The Princess Bride.
posted by rokusan at 5:30 AM on December 3, 2009

Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra's The Ingenious Hidalgo Don Quixote of La Mancha aka Don Quixote contains several such literary works within the main story. While these may not be as famous as the containing work, they're remarkable at least for their length, especially the story entitled "The Curious Impertinent," which, if I recall correctly, spans 5 chapters of Don Quixote. This story within a story even contains several sonnets, making them sonnets within a story within a story, for three total levels of literary works. The main characters in "The Curious Impertinent" are Anselmo, Lothario and Camila.

From the "Other Stories" section of Wikipedia's article on Don Quixote:
Other stories
Both parts of Don Quixote contain a number of stories which do not directly involve the two main characters, but which are narrated by some of the picaresque figures encountered by the Don and Sancho during their travels. One of the most famous, known as "The Curious Impertinent," is found in Part One, Book Three. This story, read to a group of travelers at an inn, tells of a Florentine nobleman, Anselmo, who becomes obsessed with testing his wife's fidelity, and talks his close friend Lothario into attempting to seduce her, with disastrous results for all.

Several abridged editions have been published which delete some or all of the extra tales in order to concentrate on the central narrative.

One of the Sonnets within "The Curious Impertinent" within Don Quixote:
“‘I die, and if I cannot be believed,
My death’s most certain, as it is more sure
To see me, at thy feet, of life deprived;
Rather than grieve, this thraldom to endure.
Well may I (in oblivious shades obscure)
Of glory, life, and favour be denied.
And yet even there, shall in my bosom pure,
The shape of thy fair face, engraved, be eyed.
For that’s a relic, which I do reserve
For the last trances my contentions threaten,
Which ‘midst thy rigour doth itself preserve.
O woe’s the wight, that is by tempests beaten
By night, in unknown seas, in danger rife
For want of North, or haven, to lose his life.’”
posted by syzygy at 5:54 AM on December 3, 2009

This passage from Neil Gaiman's American Gods probably hasn't outstripped the book in fame yet, but arguably it is on its way to becoming so (paragraph breaks mine):

"I can believe things that are true and I can believe things that aren't true and I can believe things where nobody knows if they're true or not. I can believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny and Marilyn Monroe and the Beatles and Elvis and Mister Ed.

"Listen — I believe that people are perfectible, that knowledge is infinite, that the world is run by secret banking cartels and is visited by aliens on a regular basis, nice ones that look like wrinkledy lemurs and bad ones who mutilate cattle and want our water and our women. I believe that the future sucks and I believe that the future rocks and I believe that one day White Buffalo Woman is going to come back and kick everyone's ass.

"I believe that all men are just overgrown boys with deep problems communicating and that the decline in good sex in America is coincident with the decline in drive-in movie theaters from state to state. I believe that all politicians are unprincipled crooks and I still believe that they are better than the alternative. I believe that California is going to sink into the sea when the big one comes, while Florida is going to dissolve into madness and alligators and toxic waste. I believe that antibacterial soap is destroying our resistance to dirt and disease so that one day we'll all be wiped out by the common cold like the Martians in War of the Worlds. I believe that the greatest poets of the last century were Edith Sitwell and Don Marquis, that jade is dried dragon sperm, and that thousands of years ago in a former life I was a one-armed Siberian shaman.

"I believe that mankind's destiny lies in the stars. I believe that candy really did taste better when I was a kid, that it's aerodynamically impossible for a bumblebee to fly, that light is a wave and a particle, that there's a cat in a box somewhere who's alive and dead at the same time (although if they don't ever open the box to feed it it'll eventually just be two different kinds of dead), and that there are stars in the universe billions of years older than the universe itself. I believe in a personal god who cares about me and worries and oversees everything I do. I believe in an impersonal god who set the universe in motion and went off to hang with her girlfriends and doesn't even know that I'm alive. I believe in an empty and godless universe of causal chaos, background noise, and sheer blind luck.

"I believe that anyone who says that sex is overrated just hasn't done it properly. I believe that anyone who claims to know what's going on will lie about the little things too. I believe in absolute honesty and sensible social lies. I believe in a woman's right to choose, a baby's right to live, that while all human life is sacred there's nothing wrong with the death penalty if you can trust the legal system implicitly, and that no one but a moron would ever trust the legal system. I believe that life is a game, that life is a cruel joke, and that life is what happens when you're alive and that you might as well lie back and enjoy it."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:01 AM on December 3, 2009 [6 favorites]


It was a dark and stormy night...
posted by grumblebee at 6:38 AM on December 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

John Irving's The World According to Garp contains several of Garp's works.

The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism, the book inside George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:39 AM on December 3, 2009

Berek's Code from The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant:

Do not hurt where holding is enough;
Do not wound where hurting is enough;
Do not maim where wounding is enough;
And kill not where maiming is enough;
The greatest warrior is the one who does not need to kill.”

This is from Stephen Donaldson's The Illearth War
posted by Philbo at 7:50 AM on December 3, 2009

Oldest lyrics ever to any #1 pop record
King Solomon, Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
paraphrased by Pete Seeger
(turn turn turn and I swear it's not too late by Pete Seeger)

as follows:
To everything - turn, turn, turn
There is a season - turn, turn, turn
And a time for every purpose under heaven

A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep

To everything - turn, turn, turn
There is a season - turn, turn, turn
And a time for every purpose under heaven

A time to build up, a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones
A time to gather stones together

To everything - turn, turn, turn
There is a season - turn, turn, turn
And a time for every purpose under heaven

A time of war, a time of peace
A time of love, a time of hate
A time you may embrace
A time to refrain from embracing

To everything - turn, turn, turn
There is a season - turn, turn, turn
And a time for every purpose under heaven

A time to gain, a time to lose
A time to rend, a time to sew
A time to love, a time to hate
A time of peace, I swear it's not too late!


And here is King Solomon his very own self
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
per 1611 King James Version

as follows:

1. To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
2. A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
3. A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4. A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5. A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6. A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7. A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8. A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
posted by dancestoblue at 7:52 AM on December 3, 2009

I think that some people may be confusing striking quotes or monologues from works with what the OP is asking for, which are actual discrete (and usually named) works within the work itself.

That having been said, I have a few examples myself. One is Lord of the Swastika in Norman Spinrad's The Iron Dream, which forms the bulk of Spinrad's book--it's the final and most famous of the works of an alternate-universe Adolf Hitler (and one that recapitulates most of the career of our Hitler, albeit in a postapocalyptic SF/fantasy setting). Also, the unnamed secret manuscript in Eco's Foucault's Pendulum.

Also, stretching the idea a bit, David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest contains (in one of its heroically-long footnotes) the fictional filmography of J.O. Incandenza, which features several films titled Infinite Jest, the last of which is central to the plot.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:13 AM on December 3, 2009

It seems like there are many different interpretations of this question.

Some people seem to be taking it as just a very memorable passage within a book or film -- like "My name is Inigo Montoya..." (which was my first thought). Others are thinking of fictional books which are part of the fictional universe but whose contents may not be reproduced or reproduced only in quotes -- like The Hitchikers' Guide within The Hitchhikers' Guide. My husband keeps mentioning plays which are framed as plays within plays -- like the Taming of the Shrew or (one I like much better) the Man of La Mancha (where the play is actually a story of Cervantes in jail telling the story of Don Quixote). (Going back to the Princess Bride, one could say the whole of Goldman's novel is a fiction of a fiction -- because Goldman's conceit is that he didn't write the book, but had merely abridged a much longer, more obscure book by someone else down to the "good parts").

Or you could interpret it as a piece of literature which exists only in the fictional universe, but which is reproduced in its entirety within the literary piece in question. When I think of this, I don't think of a famous work of literature, but of the play, "Iphigenia at Ilium,", which is an integral part of Sherri Tepper's novel, The Gate to Women's Country. It is a play within a novel, in that the characters act it out and it has thematic connections to the novel, but also could be performed in its own right as a play.

Is this the sort of thing you are looking for?

Poems within novels like this are fairly common -- especially in certain fantasy and sci-fi genres. I remember the poem quoted above from A Swiftly Tilting Planet very well -- there the poem is integrated into the story in a wonderful way. There is a poem used in a similar way in The Grey King by Susan Cooper. Anne McCaffrey's use of songs in her Harper Hall Trilogy (part of the Pern Series) is not a part of the story, but intended to bring out themes and feelings; she has a different verse at the beginning of each chapter. And, of course, who could forget Tom Bombadil's wonderful songs from The Lord of the Rings?
posted by jb at 8:32 AM on December 3, 2009

In the first section of the Once and Future King, Merlin relates a few parables to the young Wart, which are small fictions contained within the larger work and I think fit the OP's question. One is a lesson about a rabbi who is travelling with the prophet Elijah. From the last paragraph:

"'In regard to the poor man who received us so hospitably,' replied the prophet, 'it was decreed that his wife was to die that night, but in reward for his goodness God took the cow instead of the wife. I repaired the wall of the rich miser because a chest of gold was concealed near the place, and if the miser had repaired the wall himself he would have discovered the treasure. Say not therefore to the Lord: What doest thou? But say in thy heart: Must not the Lord of all the earth do right?"

And later on, Arthur visits the Badger, who retells the Creation myth in possibly the cutest fashion ever. It's one of my favorite passages in TOaFK. It starts off:

"People often ask, as an idle question, whether the process of evolution began with the chicken or the egg. Was there an egg out of which the first chicken came, or did a chicken lay the first egg? I am in a position to say that the first thing created was the egg.
"When God had manufactured all of the eggs out of which the fishes and the serpents and the birds and the mammals and even the duck-billed platypus would eventually emerge, he called the embryos before Him, and saw that they were good."

God goes on to talk to all the embryos, which I think is endearing and hilarious. There might be a few other examples too, but I can't think of them right now. I believe that these small stories are fairly well known by people who have read the Once and Future King.
posted by andeles at 8:39 AM on December 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

Oh - I adore Where's My Cow?

But does it count as a story within a story now? It's been published separately -- and it's brilliant. Though, of course, the picture book still has a story within a story -- until the two start to collide.

If you want lots of stories within stories -- the ur-example of this is probably One Thousand and One Nights, where it is not just the main character who tells stories within the story, but sometimes the characters within her stories tell their own stories within a story within a story...
posted by jb at 8:43 AM on December 3, 2009

The Ballad of Joking Jesus, originally written as a humorous poem by a friend of Joyce, then later incorporated in modified form into Ulysses.

Arguably the only entertaining part of the book.
posted by dephlogisticated at 8:51 AM on December 3, 2009

"Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch'intrate", or "Abandon all hope, ye who enter here"
Dante's Inferno
posted by forforf at 9:16 AM on December 3, 2009

Many of these don't fit the bill, IMO: they are well-known quotes from a larger text. "You killed my father", for instance, is hardly a literary reference within a literary piece. Likewise, the Bhagavad Gita is an episode in the Mahabharata, but hardly a fictional piece created within the Mahabharata.

I offer, instead, The Laws of Robotics, frequently referenced in SciFi, and authored by Asmiov, but which exist as "nonfiction literary works" (laws) only within other fictional works.
posted by IAmBroom at 9:47 AM on December 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

The Frost poem in The Outsiders, "Nothing Gold Can Stay"

The main character in "Ghostdog: The Way of the Samurai" quotes from the Hagakure.
posted by parilous at 11:56 AM on December 3, 2009

I'm almost positive this doesn't quite answer the question, but very few people seem to realize that the song 'White Christmas' is from the film Holiday Inn.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:00 PM on December 3, 2009

The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism, by Emmanuel Goldstein in 1984
posted by InfidelZombie at 12:22 PM on December 3, 2009

The "Before the Law" parable from Kafka's The Trial?
posted by experiencing a significant gravitas shortfall at 12:24 PM on December 3, 2009

The now not-very-well-known Peer Gynt contains the super-recognizable "In the Hall of the Mountain King." I'm sure there are lots of other examples from musicals or operas with very recognizable themes.
posted by Rinku at 12:53 PM on December 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

Book and Movie. 13th Warrior. Not sure if it in the book though.

Lo there do I see my father.
Lo there do I see my mother, my sisters, and my brothers.
Lo there do I see the line of my people, back to the beginning.
Lo they do call me.
They bid me take my place among them in the halls of Valhalla.
Where the brave, may live forever.

Shadow Rising. Robert Jordan. WoT

Wash the spears --- While the sun climbs high.
Wash the spears --- While the sun falls low.

Wash the spears --- Who fears to die?
Wash the spears --- No one I know!

Wash the spears --- While life holds true.
Wash the spears --- until life ends.

Wash the spears --- Life is a dream.
Wash the spears --- All dreams must end.

Wash the spears --- While i breathe.
Wash the spears --- my steel is bright
Wash the spears...

Both these examples are similiar to the Gunslinger Creed and Against Fear cause they are design to calm the mind and soul allowing the body to do what is natural to it.
posted by Rolandkorn at 2:39 PM on December 3, 2009

fictional author Kilgore Trout is almost as well known as Kurt Vonnegut in whose stories he appears frequently. Trout's fictional novel "Venus on the Half Shell" was eventually written irl by an author using Trout as a pen name.
posted by swbarrett at 5:39 PM on December 3, 2009

I imagine that the Celestial Emporium of Benevolent Knowledge, and the categorisation it contains, is better known than the Analytical Language of John Wilkins. Maybe just because it has a catchier name.
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 5:48 PM on December 3, 2009

"Thou shalt raise thy holy hand grenade at thy foe, who, being naughty in thy sight, shall snuff it."
posted by jpdoane at 9:36 PM on December 3, 2009

The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the
tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon you.

(Virtually none of this is actually from Ezekiel 25.17)
posted by shakespeherian at 6:33 AM on December 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil. (23rd Psalm, and as seen in Major Hollywood Productions).
posted by NekulturnY at 7:42 AM on December 4, 2009

I don't think I've read a single Green Lantern comic, but I know this much:

In brightest day, in blackest night,
No evil shall escape my sight
Let those who worship evil's might,
Beware my power: Green Lantern's light!
posted by Ndwright at 10:45 PM on December 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


A fine example, as Donne coins three phrases vivid enough to be become future cliches in eighty words and with the rest of the work, er, does not.

1. No man is an island.

2. for whom the bell tolls (?)

3. ?

"... any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind..."
posted by ricochet biscuit at 12:00 PM on December 6, 2009

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