Quotation Marx; the Concise Dictionary of Foreign Quotations. Edited by Anthony Lejeune (Stacey London, Pounds 21). Reviewed by Ross Reyburn

Article excerpt

Quotation dictionaries can be an inspirational pleasure and an interesting addition to this field is award- winning broadcaster Anthony Lejeune's attempt to assemble a collection of memorable foreign quotations.

The book has a disappointingly large amount of so-so remarks. The cry of Karl Marx and Freidrich Engels: "Workers of the world, unite!" is a memorable slogan but is the German toast "Good Luck" or Napoleon's last words "Head of the army" really worthy of inclusion?

Frenchman Albert Camus with the first words of The Outsider - "Mother died today. Or perhaps it was yesterday, I don't know" - provided one of literature's most memorable starts to a novel. But these brief sentences are not among the three Camus quotes i n the book.

However the publication does have much to offer. Although it has no dates, Lejeune has broken up his selections under various languages and lists both the original quote alongside the English translation.

It is a format that works superbly. The author read classics at Balliol College, Oxford and his Latin section offers a vivid insight into the wit, wisdom and economy of master wordsmiths such as Virgil, Cicero, Horace as well as glimpses of a great langu age. …