Willis Goth Regier

Stages Series

272 pages
10 illustrations, 1 table


October 2010


$24.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

Erasmus advised readers to learn quotations by heart and copy them everywhere: write them in the front and back of books; inscribe them on rings and cups; paint them on doors and walls, “even on the glass of a window.” Emerson noted that “in Europe, every church is a kind of book or bible, so covered is it with inscriptions and pictures.” In Arabic script as tall as a man, the Koran is quoted on the walls and domes of mosques.
We quote to admire, provoke, commemorate, dispute, play, and inspire. Quotations signal class, club, clique, and alma mater. They animate wit, relay prophecies, guide meditation, and accessorize fashion.
In Quotology Willis Goth Regier draws on world literature and contemporary events to show how vital quotations are, how they are collected and organized, and how deceptive they can be. He probes all these aspects, identifying fifty-nine types of quotations, including misquotations and anonymous sayings. Following the logic of quotology, Quotology concludes with famous last words.

Author Bio

Willis Goth Regier is the director of the University of Illinois Press. He is the author of In Praise of Flattery (Nebraska 2007) and Book of the Sphinx (Nebraska 2004), available in a Bison Books edition.


“Well named, Quotology contains everything you always wanted to know about quotations, quoters, quotees, quotation books, ‘quoox’ (quotations out of context), and their fascinating history.”—Marjorie Garber, author of Shakespeare and Modern Culture and Quotation Marks

“Those who are fascinated by quotations, meaning just about everyone who is interested in culture or history, will want to devour Willis Regier’s Quotology. Regier, more than anyone before him, has illuminated the reasons we quote, the taxonomy of quotation types, and the traditions of the great quote books, and done so with delightful wit and penetrating insight.”—Fred Shapiro, editor of The Yale Book of Quotations

"Regier . . . offers a fascinating look at the principles and practices of quotation."—E.L. Battistella, CHOICE

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations



Part 1. Principia

1. Elements

2. Types

3. Collections

4. The Great Compendia

5. Fashions

Part 2. Practica

6. Wit

7. Prophecy

8. Meditations

9. Last Words



Works Cited



2011 Choice Outstanding Academic Title

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