In fact, writes Hollander, it was the Facebook status of an American living in Japan, who followed her eloquent statement with a quote from King. A friend reposted it, dropping the quote marks, after which it went viral, with the false attribution.
The article reminded me of a little project I undertook a couple of years ago, to make a little booklet of quotations from children's books that offered humorous "good advice for all occasions."
The project started with a quote I remembered from a book I had read to our children more than once, Talking to Dragons, by Patricia Wrede, the last book in her Enchanted Forest series. The lead character, Princess Cimorene, had, in the very first book in the series, run away from the pampered and boring life of a princess (as she saw it) and gone off to seek adventure or at least intellectual stimulation in the company of dragons, which turned out to be rather erudite creatures.
In the last book, Cimorene was sending her son, Daystar, off on adventures of his own, and her parting words to him included the simple advice, "Always be polite to dragons."
|Alice illustrates a quote from the Red Queen.|
There I came across a charming quotation attributed variously to Kenneth Graham or more specifically his book Wind in the Willows: "Come along inside ... We'll see if tea and buns can make the world a better place."
Such a sweet sentiment. So I did a drawing of tea and buns to go with it. Then I realized that I needed a more specific attribution for the quote—which character said it and to whom? So I took out my copy of Wind in the Willows and started perusing. I couldn't find it. Maybe I skimmed right past it, I thought. I found an online searchable copy of the book and looked for it there. Nothing.
I found an online source of other works by Kenneth Graham, yet still could not find the quote.
In the end, I gave up. Not knowing the true source of the quote (it may still have been said/written by Kenneth Graham, but in what I do not know), I decided to use a different quote. But I already had my drawing of tea and buns, and I wanted to use it, so I remembered that Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hahn had said something about drinking tea mindfully, and I set out to find that one to use instead. On the Internet I found several slight variations; fortunately, we have several of his books, and I guessed correctly that it must surely be in The Miracle of Mindfulness, which it was.
"Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the whole world revolves—slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future." —Thich Nhat Hanh
And that's how my little booklet of quotations from children's stories ended up with one quotation from a book for adults about living our lives with intention. (And why I illustrated a Buddhist quote with a drawing of a very English-looking cup of milky tea and brioche buns.)