16 December 2008

Quote of the day, yay!

"He is not dead, he doth not sleep, he hath awakened from the dream of life"

- Percy Bysshe Shelley, from Adonais

It's really funny how things happen in such fortuitous ways. I saw Steven Sebring's Patti Smith: Dream of Life on Sunday evening, which I adored. The last line of the film, voiced by Patti herself, struck me profoundly. I wrote it down as soon as possible.

I knew she was quoting someone but didn't know who, so I did some web-research and the name Google gave me was "Shelley". I wondered if it could it possibly be Mary Shelley. I thought it would be extremely fortuitous if it were Mary Shelley - I am big fan of Frankenstein and it had popped up recently in conversation with a friend (also partial to Patti Smith). Yet there is another Shelley (less known to me but probably more renowned generally), Percy Bysshe Shelley, Mary's husband.

A rejigging of the search followed and lo and behold, the above quote is from Percy Bysshe Shelley's Adonais.

It is interesting how the mind tends to believe what it wants to believe. I very nearly quoted these as Mary Shelley's words (via Patti Smith). I was sure they simply had to be from Frankenstein, solely because that suited my romantic view of my whole experience with the book, the film and the quote. I searched for my copy of Frankenstein so I could find the quote (which I was sure I would have underlined!), but with no luck. I realised my copy is in Australia so thus reverted to the web.

A quick cross-reference and discovered I was mistaken, the quote was indeed Percy Bysshe Shelley's. And probably all the better as I have now learnt of a new and wonderful writer, as well as gained a bit more information (thanks, Wiki) about Mary Shelley.

One day we'll all wake up to ourselves.
We all wake up to ourselves one day.

Percy Bysshe Shelley courtesy of Wiki.


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