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Q: finding a quotation ( No Answer,   4 Comments )
Subject: finding a quotation
Category: Arts and Entertainment > Books and Literature
Asked by: hival-ga
List Price: $2.00
Posted: 10 May 2006 10:34 PDT
Expires: 09 Jun 2006 10:34 PDT
Question ID: 727327
Where does this quotation come from - "the remains of the day"? I know
it is the title of a novel by Kazuo Ishiguro, but I think it must be a
quote from someone else.

Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 11 May 2006 14:39 PDT
Might have been Voltaire!

This book:

is an 1844 English translation by Smollet of Voltaire's "History of
Charles the Twelfth...", written in the 1700's.

The book has the following passage:

"The king employed the small remains of the day in seizing upon the
enemy's artillery..."

I did find some earlier examples of this phrase, but these were along
the lines of "...the remains of the day's supper..." and didn't seem
to be quite the ticket.

Hope that helps.


Clarification of Question by hival-ga on 14 May 2006 12:39 PDT
Dear Researcher: I thought it might be Shakespeare, but haven't been
able to find it. I imagine Ishiguro is very well read, especially in
classical literature. Perhaps Milton? Thanks for help so far. I think
Google Answers is brilliant!
There is no answer at this time.

Subject: Re: finding a quotation
From: thursdaylast23-ga on 10 May 2006 15:16 PDT
My guess, after some research online, in various dictionaries, and in
full-text sources, is that ?the remains of the day? is a general
enough phrase that it probably can?t be definitively attributed to any
one person or source. Of course, a Google researcher may well find
definitive evidence to the contrary, and there?s also a chance that
Ishiguro has made specific reference to a source for his title, but I
have not yet run across any quotation from him to that effect. So far,
I have found the phrase ?[the] remains of the day? used in the name of
online blogs, in the titles of academic articles, in poetry before and
after 1989 (publication date of the novel), and in numerous other
contexts. Here are a few instances.

?The radio on. / Some kind of Prokofieff; snaring the violent remains
of the day / in sharp webs of dissonance.?
?Preface to a Tweety Volume Suicide Note,? in One Night Stand (1961),
Imamu Amiri Baraka

[This next example is not an exact replication of the phrase, but the
grammatical construction and the reference to time makes it very
similar. Besides, the mood of the poem seems to have something in
common with the atmosphere of the movie!]
?This is the place where the leaves / are turning in the northern
wind, / where the remains of the year turn into a season.?
?November Arrives on the Coast? (1983), in Blood Memory, Neile Graham

?I fashioned this from smoke and hair, from the remains of the day as
they were handed to me by others?.?
?Edificio Sayonara,? in Angel Atrapado (1992), John Yau 

"Die, die, we all pass away /. . . / You might try to hide, and you
might try to pray / But we all end up the remains of the day.?
?Remains of the Day,? from The Corpse Bride (2005), music and lyrics
by Danny Elfman

Also, the use of the noun ?remain? in its plural form, and in
grammatical constructions that closely parallel the phrase, is
well-documented by the Oxford English Dictionary (online). A few

Cavallier, Mem. III. 242.  ?I wanted some Rest for the Remains of the
Winter? (1726)
Cavallier, Junius Lett.. xxxvi. ?If you would hope to save the
wretched remains of a ruined reputation? (1788)
Whiston, Lusignan III, 145.  ?Do you then envy me this short remains
of happiness??  (1801)

So, overall, if no clearer evidence surfaces, it would seem reasonable
to assume that the title of the novel may not owe its origin to any
one particular instance of the phrase, but rather to a "linguistic
memory" (there's probably a more technically correct term) of similar
usages in various times, genres, and contexts.
Subject: Re: finding a quotation
From: markvmd-ga on 10 May 2006 21:48 PDT
Isn't it from a poem called "Life" or something that goes sort of
like... "Each day Life opens a new account for you, each night it
burns the remains of the day; if you don't to use the day's deposits,
the loss is yours. Today is a gift, that's why it's called the
Subject: Re: finding a quotation
From: bowler-ga on 11 May 2006 13:54 PDT
Here is what markvmd is referring to:

Value of Time

Author Unkown 

Imagine there is a bank that credits your account each morning with $86,400. 
It carries over no balance from day to day. 
Every evening deletes whatever part of the balance you failed to use
during the day.
What would you do? Draw out every cent, of course! 
Each of us has such a bank. Its name is TIME. 
Every morning, it credits you with 86,400 seconds. 
Every night it writes off, as lost, whatever of this you have failed
to invest to good purpose.
It carries over no balance. 
It allows no overdraft. 
Each day it opens a new account for you. 
Each night it burns the remains of the day. 
If you fail to use the day's deposits, the loss is yours. 
There is no going back. There is no drawing against the "tomorrow". 
You must live in the present on today's deposits. 
Invest it so as to get from it the utmost in health, happiness and success! 
The clock is running. Make the most of today. 
To realize the value of ONE YEAR, ask a student who failed a grade. 
To realize the value of ONE MONTH, ask a mother who gave birth to a
pre-mature baby.
To realize the value of ONE WEEK, ask the editor of a weekly newspaper.
To realize the value of ONE DAY, ask a daily wage laborer with kids to feed. 
To realize the value of ONE HOUR, ask the lovers who are waiting to meet. 
To realize the value of ONE MINUTE, ask a person who missed the train.
To realize the value of ONE SECOND, ask a person who just avoided an accident. 
To realize the value of ONE MILLI-SECOND, ask the person who won a
silver medal in the Olympics.
Treasure every moment that you have! And treasure it more because you
shared it with someone special, special enough to spend your time.
And remember that time waits for no one. 
Yesterday is history. 
Tomorrow a mystery. 
Today is a gift. 
That's why it's called the present!
Subject: Re: finding a quotation
From: alanna-ga on 14 May 2006 19:27 PDT
This sounds quite close:

From William Wordsworth, "THE LABOURER'S NOON-DAY HYMN"

Lord! since his rising in the East,
If we have faltered or transgressed,
Guide, from thy love's abundant source,
What yet remains of this day's course:

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