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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

because you never know what will lead to what

This entry began as a response to mum of two's (and a half?) comment in my last post, but took on a life of its own after I started doing a bit of research, so I figured I might as well post it as a separate entry.

Snort. Yeah, it IS an ignorant quote, but I couldn't resist teasing you. I Googled Geoffrey as well, and didn't find much other than that the quote first appeared in the New York Journal-American in 1961. And in one site when I clicked on a link to get more information all it said was, "Alive: no." Well, not a big surprise with quotes like that! :))

Good grief! No wonder we both had a hard time finding anything—the last name was misspelled! But the saddest part is that while Googling the quote I found his name on I don't know how many sites ALL spelled the wrong way. The author's surname is actually COTTERELL, and hopefully that will give us more to go on.

You'd think I'd know by now though to carefully check quotes and their authors before posting them as I've run into this sort of trouble before. Usually finding that what I thought was a full quote was actually only half of a quote. And of course the most interesting half wasn't what I had originally included! The checking of various sites also led to me writing a completely different post than intended, and that itself was a reminder to never assume that I know for sure what I'll be writing about. It's also a lesson to trust the creative process and go with the flow.

But back to Geoffrey Cotterell who started all of this. Unfortunately I didn't find out much more even with the correct spelling, but it turns out the bloke was an English writer born in 1919, who published a number of books including Go Said The Bird, Amsterdam; The Life of a City, and Tiara Tahiti, which I believe was turned into a film. I also found a couple of old but amusing Time Magazine book reviews for Strait and Narrow and Westward the Sun. But I'm not sure if he is in fact not alive, as a couple of sites only included his birth (i.e. 1919-) and not his death, so he may still be a very much alive and kicking (although not exactly young) 88-year-old.

Oh, and who knew that the quote would also end up in a book that I happen to have sitting on one of my bookshelves? And that I would only end up realizing this by doing a search on the Internet? Yes, you just never know what will lead to what!


Anonymous mum of two and a half said...

Sitting here tonight with a sprained ankle courtesy of Madam R. Yes of course it's a long story so I shan't go into it here. Sorry if I sounded cranky about that quote last night, I didn't mean to. Part of the Australian pysche I guess. We are perceived as 'unkultchered' because one doesn't think of fine art, literature, tradition, opera etc when one thinks of Oz. One thinks more of beaches, koalas, sport, kangaroos, sport, beer, wine, sport and BBQs. Oh, and sport :-)). And whether it's true or not, we're a leetle bit sensitive about all of that. Then we have a bit of a think (difficult) and say 'f*ck youse' and go and have a beer and play sport. But we're still touchy about it all :-)). Well the bloke was English - what more can I say? The Poms are still p!ssed off that they sent the prisoners to paradise. And they just lost the Ashes again. Um, that's a cricket competition. More sport but do or die stuff! I may have to stay more than three days to explain all this :-)).

February 28, 2007 7:35 a.m.

Blogger KJ's muse said...

Hey mum of two and a half,

Well, had you been cranky you would have had every right. I guess the quote struck me as funny because knowing you made it even more patently absurd. I guess the only saving grace is that he didn't spare any of the nationalities mentioned, but it occurred to me today that if Holland had been substituted for Australia I might not have been amused. So I'd like to apologize for what may have been an unfortunate choice of quote on my part.

It's funny though because when I think of Oz what comes to mind is the fact that so many of my favourite foreign films are Australian, and that one of my all-time favourite books Leaning Towards Infinity, is from an Australian author, and of course the wonderful Aussie sense of humour that I now recognize almost instantly, rather than the items you mentioned. I guess I just wasn't really aware of how Australia is or was perceived, and feel bad if I was insensitive.

Glad you're still thinking of coming down though! Or is that up? :))

February 28, 2007 11:40 p.m.

Anonymous krissa said...

Well, I'd love to see what he would have come up with if he had decided to comment on German writers (there seems to be no love lost between Brits and Germans). .. And although I like to think that Mr. Cotterell was kidding when he made that comment...in the words of Rodney King, "can't we all just get along"? :)

March 01, 2007 12:46 p.m.

Blogger KJ's muse said...

Indeed, Krissa, indeed.

March 01, 2007 9:31 p.m.

Anonymous mum of two and a half said...

KJM, there's no need for an apology nor were you insensitive. A quote like that from an Englishman at the start of the last century doesn't surprise me in the least (and no Krissa, he probably wasn't kidding LOL). It's the stereotyping that gets up my nose the most. It would be like me stating that the Dutch are only eat cheese or that all Americans are loud and obnoxious. Ignorance BUGS me big style! I think it's over?? Everything for us is up :-)).

March 03, 2007 8:17 p.m.

Anonymous krissa said...

What do you think...good ol' Mr. Cotterell never set foot in Australia and possibly not the U.S. either? :)

March 04, 2007 11:15 a.m.

Blogger KJ's muse said...

Hmmm, I know some Dutch people who only eat—never mind! :)) Up it is, mum of two and a half!

You're probably right Krissa. :)

March 04, 2007 11:15 p.m.


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