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I am always in the mood of exchanging ideas with others. One only lives one life, but if he shares his stories with others, takes in their experience, he may live every life of human being. And that should be the reason why one reads biography. I love literature and philosophy as well, because philosophy, which sobers people, provides bones, while literature, which is romantic in the essence, provides flesh and b...

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November 13, 2007

 " Ezekiel 25:17. The path of the righteous man is beset on all sidesBy the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will,Shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness,For he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children.And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious angerThose who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers.And you will know my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee." Pulp Fiction  And I will execute great vengeance upon them with furious rebukes; and they shall know that I [am] the LORD, when I shall lay my vengeance upon them.                             King James Version (KJV) Bible Ezekiel 25:17 I will carry out great vengeance on them and punish them in my wrath. Then they will know that I am the LORD, when I take vengeance on them.                             New International Version (NIV) Ezekiel 25:17 

Part 1 The Power of Dramatization  

The three quotations above are derived from the same source, Ezekiel 25:17 in the Old Testament of the Holy Bible. However there are huge discrepancies in the effect of these three. Compare the KJV with the NIV; we may sense the flavor has changed. KJV impress us with a shock of solemnness, I attribute it to the historical factors. The translation of the Authorized King James Version (KJV) was commissioned by King James in 1611, and because of the period of time, the wording of this version is of classic elegance. And the work on the NIV began in 1965, completed in 1978, therefore the wording was with the modern flavor and also somewhat lax. The simplification of the bible certainly helps the spreading of the sermon, but it diminishes the sense literally. The sentence I cited from the NIV is plain, and doesn’t sound like a quotation, then a question comes forth: what makes a quotation a quotation?I assume that it is dramatization that makes a quotation a quotation. The old-fashion words can also serve the purpose of dramatization. In this way, KJV could be considered more dramatized than NIV, therefore the diction of KJV is more worth relishing, so is that quotation.Apply this theory into the quotation from Pulp Fiction, it works. Pulp fiction is a movie, the lines in it is purely dramatized. And so the quotation is more powerful.If we consider the latter part of quotation a modified version from the original sentence in the bible, then the former part is obviously artificially added. In a strict sense, it should be taken for apocrypha, but it is these artificial marks that reveal the majestic feeling. It further convinced me that it is dramatization that makes a quotation a quotation.  

Part 2 The Power of Quotation 

When weapons fall into the hands of justice, we consider them justified; when into the hands of the evil, we consider them evil. The same is true with a quotation.The sentence in Ezekiel 25:17 could serve as a verdict; undoubtedly we take it that way. However, in the Pulp Fiction it came out from the mouth of a hooligan. And in the movie this sentence was followed by a series of sounds, the gun shot “Bang!” the hooligan speaks this out and then he kills.When we claim “in the name of god”, doesn’t it really mean that god approves of what is going to be done? Does he who preaches Ezekiel 25:17 could stand in the path of righteous men? Joan Arc was executed under the judgment by a group of people who claim to be with the god, so was Nicolaus Copernicus.It is just a lie which can not be penetrated.Focus back on the quotation, the same fact is prevailing. How can one prove himself entitled to quote a certain quotation to support his idea? Isn’t it arbitrary if the author of the quotation doesn’t quite agree with the idea the quoter holds?Also there is no such thing that is called self-evident; the quotation may not be the truth. Even if it is, it doesn’t mean that the quotation always stands with the quoter. It doesn’t justify anybody, even the author himself. So what else is the use of it?                       

March 26, 2007

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