Next time you long on to Online Literature Network, look at the left hand side of the opening screen. There you will find an entire forum devoted to numerous quizzes about individual authors and/or individual works. About a year and a half ago, the Forum Games featured a continuous thread titled “Auntie’s Quiz of the Week,” a less serious brain-teaser in which the quizzes were comprised of several seemingly divergent works and authors, all connected – often tenuously!– by a common characteristic. Here’s a link to one of those previous quizzes:
This “new” thread hopes to continue where “Auntie’s Quiz of the Week” left off, only this time, LitNet participants have the opportunity not only to take a stab at the questions but also write and post quizzes themselves. In other words, I hope that the Forum Games quiz would become more of a community rather than an individual effort.
If you want some suggestions on how to compose a quiz, here are some suggestions to get you started:
Meanwhile, here’s the initial quiz offering for 2010, the first of which I hope will be many more. (That’s up to you, LitNetters!) All of the questions and/or answers have something to do with some form of the words “first,” “begin,” “new,” or “start.” So, let’s get started with this little ditty we like to call:
First, A New Beginning
1. What is the term used to describe the fortunate results when a person succeeds brilliantly the very first time he or she attempts a new endeavor?
2. Which British poet (1809-1892) wrote the monumental elegy, In Memoriam, in which the following lines appear:
“Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.”
3. Name the ancient Roman god with 2 faces –one facing forward and the other looking backward, who presided over the beginning of the year. It forms the root of the word for one of our calendar months.
4. A legal term concerns who gets the first and usually biggest share of a family inheritance, and/or the rule of succession to the throne in medieval Europe. What is this word which literally means “first born?”
5. Initially appearing in 1623, what two-word term refers to the earliest collection of Shakespeare’s plays published just 7 years after his death? In more modern times two facsimile editions were published, one in 1902 by Oxford University Press and the other by Yale University Press in 1954.
6. Who was the American composer and lyricist (1893-1964) who wrote “Begin the Beguine?”
7. W. E. Hickson isn't as well known as his oft-quoted advice. What’s the line which precedes “Try, try again,” the first three words of which legendary infielder Keith Hernandez found to be a perfect title for his autobiography?
8. What was the term for the loosely-knit group of French filmmakers of the 1950s including “auteurs” such as Rohmer, Truffaut, Renais, and Godard who brought a individually artistic yet autocratic control over the complete production of their works?
9. It’s a no-no-- or used to be-- in objective, straight news stories, but this type of narration is highly effective in numerous literary works, as diverse as Tristram Shandy, David Copperfield, andThe Catcher in the Rye. When a narrator recounts his own experiences and observations throughout the entire work, we say that the novel is written in the what?
10. Appropriately enough, it opens with the words, “In the beginning. . .” What is the first book of the Bible as well as the Old Testament ?
11. What is the literary term for a written line containing two or more words repeating the sound of the initial letter, such as the “f” in Milton’s line, “Fixed fate, free will, foreknowledge absolute,” or the “c” in the simile “cool as a cucumber” or the “s” in the tongue-twister “She sells seashells by the seashore?”
12. Who was the American-born British poet (1888-1965) who included the line, “In my beginning is my end” in “East Coker,” one of his Four Quartets?
13. And finally, name the comedian, musician, author of 54 published books, pioneer of late-night television, actor, and song lyricist (1921-2000) who wrote the jazz standard, “This Could Be the Start of Something.”
1. Beginner’s luck
2. Alfred, Lord Tennyson
5. The First Folio
6. Cole Porter
7. “If, at first, you don’t succeed” (Mr. Hickson didn't offer Plan B, or what to do if at Try #7734 you still haven't succeeded.”)
8. The New Wave Cinema
9. Written in the first person.
12. T. S. Eliot
13. Steve Allen
Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by Ivor R. Evans, New York: Harper & Row, 1981.
Benét’s Reader’s Encyclopedia, New York: Harper & Row, 1987.
Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, Third Edition
and (for question #11) The Oxford Companion to the English Language.