8025

Currently Reading

Sherlock Holmes: The Definitive Collection
Arthur Conan Doyle, Stephen Fry
Merlin Trilogy
Mary Stewart
Progress: 340/928 pages
An Artist of the Floating World
Kazuo Ishiguro
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
Arthur Conan Doyle

Recently Added

The Name of Annabel Lee - Julian Symons
Tour de Force - Christianna Brand
Quai des Orfèvres - Stanislas-André Steeman
"You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough." ― Mae West


"The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read." ― Mark Twain


"Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea." ― Robert A. Heinlein


"Always be a first rate version of yourself and not a second rate version of someone else." ― Judy Garland
Find me elsewhere:
My Leafmarks Profile
Project Hamlet

Goodreads Quote of the Day: The Roots of Cosmopolitanism, or, nonexistent fact-checking triumphs again.

Not for the first time in the recent couple of months alone, GR is crediting an author with having coined their "quote of the day" ... for something properly attributed to someone else entirely, or otherwise misquoted.

 

This time the quote in question is "I am a citizen of the world" – which dates back to Greek philosophers Socrates (470/469-399 BC) (thanks, Eleni!) and Diogenes of Sinope (ca. 412-323 BC); the latter famously being reported to have given this as his response to the question where he came from.

 

To this true origin of the quote, the modern world also owes the term "cosmopolitan" (from the Greek for "world citizen", "kosmopolitês").

 

Guess who today made Goodreads's "quote of the day" crowd with that quote? Sylvia Beach, of Shakespeare and Company.

 

Now, I love Shakespeare and Company, and it is true that Ms. Beach is quoted with the above sentiment in Noel Fitch's Sylvia Beach and the Lost Generation (1983).  However, she was manifestly NOT the first person to have expressed this idea.  Even if you discount the attribution to Socrates and Diogenes, there are several other contenders who lived centuries, if not millennia before Ms. Beach; inter alia, Tamil poet Kaniyan Poongundran (some 2000 years ago), and Thomas Paine (The Rights of Man, 1792: "My country is the world.")  In other words, cosmopolitanism reaches far back to the roots of both Western and Eastern civilization(s) and societies.  Ms. Beach may have subscribed to it – but she most definitely didn't invent it.  This thought, however, unfortunately seems to be lost on whoever selected today's "quote of the day" on Goodreads ...

 

Source: http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/650452-i-am-a-citizen-of-the-world