Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Not the quote I''m looking for

Day Two at Marquette

So, I mentioned in my last post that I was looking for a quote I recall from the George Bernard Shaw play SAINT JOAN, which I read some thirty years ago (along with MAJOR BARBARA, TOO TRUE TO BE GOOD, SHAKES VS. SHAV, and best of all HEARTBREAK HOUSE) and have never been tempted to reread since.

Except that now I need the quote for something I'm working on, which I remember but not precisely enough for quoting --and besides, I need the page number and all for correct citation.

On my first go yesterday I cdn't find the exchange, which I remembered as being about people believing in the flat earth because it fit what they cd see with their own eyes. After all, believing in a round earth involved embracing an abstraction over the immediate and concrete. I was beginning to fear I'd need to read the whole play to find these lines. I did find what seemed to be Shaw's comment on the scene in the Preface:

"She never doubted that the sun went round the earth: she had seen it do so too often."

While this conveys the same sentiment, it wasn't the exchange in dialogue I remembered, and lacked its sting.

Luckily today I found what I was looking for, through the somewhat circuitous route of the Australian Gutenberg Project. Here's the quote:

LA TRÉMOUILLE. And who the deuce was Pythagoras?

THE ARCHBISHOP. A sage who held that the earth is round, and that it moves round the sun.

LA TRÉMOUILLE. What an utter fool! Couldnt he use his eyes?

That's the quote I was looking for, except I remembered them as having mentioned Copernicus, not Pythagoras; good thing I looked it up.

--JDR
current reading: Stonehenge book, some odds and ends by Shaw.


2 comments:

N.E. Brigand said...

We staged "Too True to Be Good" a few years ago. I'd never read it before, and I liked it a lot.

Dennis Wise said...

Weird coincidence. In an essay of mine on Tolkien's 1954 nomination of E. M. Forster for the Nobel Prize in Mythlore 2017, there's an extended footnote discussing Shaw's SAINT JOAN. Nothing to do with your post topic, but just one of those odd things nonetheless.