the worst, and it’s always worse
than I expected
“I’ve always expected the worst, and it’s always worse than I expected.”, is attributed, by sources on the information highway, to the novelist Henry James.
While a great quote, I do like to find it’s context.
Stephen Fry talks about this need for attribution of quotes in his podcast, Fry’s English Delight, where Mr. Fry goes into the differing opinions on quotes.
Some think you should quote very little and always reference the original author.
Others felt the dubious practice of quoting however much you wanted, with no reference and even changing bits was okay.
It does bother me when I cannot find where a quote that the online world attributes to someone but cannot go any further than the quote itself.
So goes the thoughts on I’ve always expected the worst, and it’s always worse than I expected.
I ran across it yesterday in the New York Time.
Sadly, the writer attributed to Henry Adams.
Does it matter when no one reads either one anymore and all the name does is reawaken a slight echo that they might have been someone that at sometime was worth knowing something more about?
For Mr. James, I cannot say I know much about.
Wikipedia says that Henry James (15 April 1843 – 28 February 1916) was an American-born British author. He is regarded as a key transitional figure between literary realism and literary modernism, and is considered by many to be among the greatest novelists in the English language. He was the son of Henry James Sr. and the brother of philosopher and psychologist William James and diarist Alice James.
The highest thing I can say about Mr. James, with my limited knowledge, is that James Thurber once wrote how he gathered up his courage and wherewithall and called on an ex-wife so that he could re-claim his copies of the collected works of Henry James.
The worst thing I can say is to quote Mark Twain on Henry James and say, “Once you’ve put one of his books down … you simply can’t pick it up again.
I have to admit that quote has kept me, despite my respect for Thurber, from ever picking up The Bostonians and taking a mental whack at it.
Legend has it that Beethoven once said something along the line of, “I like Wagner. I do! I think someday I will set it to music.”
The importance of getting it right verus Vass you dere, Sharlie?
Regardless of who said it first.
I’ve always expected the worst, and it’s always worse than I expected.
And don’t forget.
Blessed are those who expect nothing.
They will never be disappointed.
To quote Ms. Parker, “What fresh hell IS this!”