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Sonntag, 2. September 2012

„Der Unterschied zwischen Aufgewecktheit und Scharfsinn ist derselbe wie zwischen dem Glühwürmchen und dem Blitz“ – von wem?


Ein Zitat, angeblich von Mark Twain, lautet:
Einige verwechseln Aufgewecktheit mit Scharfsinn; der Unterschied zwischen Aufgewecktheit und Scharfsinn ist derselbe wie zwischen dem Glühwürmchen und dem Blitz.
(Übersetzung laut http://de.wikiquote.org/wiki/Scharfsinn)
Some folks mistake vivacity for wit; whereas the difference between vivacity and wit is the same as the difference between the lightning-bug and the lightning.
und als Quelle wird Albert Bigelow Paine: Mark Twain: A Biography, Chapter LXXXIII: Lecturing Days genannt (http://classiclit.about.com/library/bl-etexts/apaine/bl-apaine-mtwain-83.htm).

(zu dem Ausspruch "Der Unterschied zwischen dem beinahe richtigen Wort und dem richtigen Wort ist wirklich eine große Sache – es ist der Unterschied zwischen dem Glühwürmchen und dem Blitz" (The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter—’tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning) siehe http://juttas-schreibblog.blogspot.de/2011/02/uber-mark-twains-gluhwurmchen-und.html

Tatsächlich aber schreibt Paine dort unter anderem über die ungewöhnliche Ausdrucksweise des US-amerikanischen Humoristen Josh Billings, der zu seiner Zeit beliebter war als Mark Twain:
An assumed illiteracy belonged with the side of life which he [Billings] presented; but it is pathetic now to consider some of the really masterly sayings of Josh Billings presented in that uncouth form which was regarded as a part of humor a generation ago. Even the aphorisms that were essentially humorous lose value in that degraded spelling.
"When a man starts down hill everything is greased for the occasion," could hardly be improved upon by distorted orthography, and here are a few more gems which have survived that deadly blight.
"Some folks mistake vivacity for wit; whereas the difference between vivacity and wit is the same as the difference between the lightning-bug and the lightning." (kursiv jmw)
"Don't take the bull by the horns-take him by the tail; then you can let go when you want to."
"The difficulty is not that we know so much, but that we know so much that isn’t so."
 Nur stimmt das so nicht ganz, denn Bilings Zitat lautet korrekt:
Don’t mistake vivacity for wit, thare iz about az much difference az thare iz between lightning and a lightning bug.
(In Josh Billings’ Old Farmer’s Allminax, January 1871  http://www.gutenberg.org/files/40191/40191-0.txt)
Mark Twain zitiert wiederum Paine in seiner Geschichte Frank Fuller and My First New York Lecture  (zu Frank Fuller siehe http://www.twainquotes.com/FullerRevisited.html
Another good fellow—good as ever was. He [Billings] too was a great card on the lecture platform in those days; and his quaint and pithy maxims were on everybody's tongue. He said "Some folks mistake vivacity for wit; whereas the difference between vivacity and wit is the same as the difference between the lightning-bug and the lightning." And he said, "Don't take the bull by the horns, take him by the tail, and then you can let go when you want to." Also he said, "The difficulty ain't that we know so much, but that we know so much that ain't so."
(http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123981266777021549.htm)
Das Zitat Some folks mistake vivacity for wit; whereas the difference between vivacity and wit is the same as the difference between the lightning-bug and the lightning ist also eine falsche Wiedergabe von Billings Worten durch Paine. Mark Twain jedenfalls hat es so nicht gesagt.

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