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February 9, 2016

“Truth is stranger than fiction…”

Lord Byron truth is stranger than fiction quote WM
BYRON’S FAMOUS LINES:

“‘Tis strange – but true; for truth is always strange; 
  Stranger than fiction.”
 
      Lord Byron
(George Gordon Byron; (1788-1824) 
        British poet
        In his epic poem Don Juan (1819-1824)  
        The phrase “strange but true” dates back as least as far back as around 1599, when it was used by William Shakespeare in Act III, Scene IV of his play Macbeth. But Lord Byron’s poem Don Juan is credited as the origin of the proverbial saying “truth is stranger than fiction” and it has spawned many uses and variations since then.

Wasserman 2016 election cartoon

THE TOP UNDERSTATEMENT OF THE 2016 PRIMARY CAMPAIGN:

“This year’s election has a certain stranger than fiction quality to it.”
       Anna Silman
       American writer and poltiical journalist
       In an article about the 2016 Presidential Primary campaign in the online magazine Salon
       (Cartoon by Dan Wasserman.)

Trump, Bush, Bernie, Hillary debating

THE POLITICS AS USUAL QUOTE:

“In politics, truce is stranger than friction.” 
       Evan Esar (1899–1995)
       American humorist and author
       In his book 20,000 Quips & Quotes (1995)

Mark Twain-8x6

TWAIN’S “PUDD’NHEAD” VARIATIONS:

Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t.”
“Truth is stranger than fiction—to some people, but I am measurably familiar with it.”
      
Mark Twain (1835-1910)
       American humorist, journalist and novelist
 
       Two of the “Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar” epigrams used at the beginning of chapters in Twain's 1897 travelogue Following the Equator (also known as More Tramps Abroad). 
Mark Twain's grave headstone

TWAIN’S POSTHUMOUS VARIATION:

“Truth is more of a stranger than fiction.” 
       Another one of the many quips Mark Twain wrote about the subject of “truth”
       This line was recorded by Twain in a notebook in 1898. It’s included in the posthumously-published collection of excerpts from his notebooks and journals, Mark Twain’s Notebook (1935).

Truth is Stranger on Public access TV-8x6[1]

THE PORTLANDIA PUBLIC ACCESS CHANNEL VERSION:

“Public broadcasting is stranger than fiction.” 
       Description of a video posted on YouTube.com by “sryokan” that shows funny excerpts from Channel 11, the local public access channel in Portlandia, er, I mean Portland, Oregon.

Micael Jackson's brain secrets-8x6

THE CNN “SHOWBIZ TONIGHT” SCHTICK:

“Tonight!…Are they really saving Michael Jackson’s brain? Did Jackson really try to rescue Lisa Ling’s sister from North Korea? The truth behind the Jackson stories that are stranger than fiction.”
       A.J. Hammer 
       Former host of the CNN channel’s “Showbiz Tonight” segment
       In a “news” piece about Michael Jackson aired on CNN, July 10, 2009. (I saw the piece and wrote down the quote, figuring that I’d eventually need another gonzo quote for this blog.)


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