With tremulous cadence slow

One regular feature in The Week is called Wit & Wisdom; it’s simply a small collection of Famous Quotes that have appeared recently in the media they mine for excerpts. I’ve swiped several of them for the sidebar, in fact.

What’s interesting is not so much the quotes themselves, many of which are overly familiar by now, but the description, or in some cases lack thereof, attached to the original speaker. In the current issue (8 August, #680), they assume you know Henry David Thoreau, Will Rogers, Andy Rooney, Groucho Marx, and Matthew Arnold, and don’t know Muriel Spark and Douglas Adams, who are identified as “novelists.”

In a better, or at least more literate, world, we’d recognize Spark and Adams right off the bat. But I admit to being somewhat relieved that it’s assumed we know Matthew Arnold, Victorian poet, who in this seemingly post-poetic world might be overlooked just for being a (1) Victorian (2) poet.

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