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There's more to life . . .

Posted by Smokey Stover on July 29, 2005

In Reply to: posted by Mikko on July 28, 2005

: : : : : : : : Please tell me the meaning of this
: : : : : : : : "There's more to the world than books you know, but not much more."

: : : : : : : : Thanks
: : : : : : : : Archana

: : : : : : : I am looking foward to what Smokey Stover will post for this one!

: : : : : : In an indirect way it means that reading enriches our lives, develops the imagination and our intellect.

: : : : : : Reading is good for you, it enriches and makes one a better person.

: : : : : That books are not quite all-important in this life: there are other things out there. (They come very close, but one can't live entirely through literature.)

: : : : : OK, it's not Smokey Stover, but I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be...

: : : : : DFG

: : : : I think someone made a spelling error. It's V-I-C-T-O-R-I-A, not S-M-O-K-E-Y. She's better informed than Smokey, and better looking to boot. SS

: : : Smokey meant to add that he thinks the original quotation was "There's more to life than books...." SS

: :
: : "better looking to boot"? Hang on to your illusions, boys and girls! (and I wouldn't know about better informed, either)(VSD)

: This phrase "There's more to life than books, you know, but not much more" is from The Smiths song "Handsome Devil" (from the album "Hatful of Hollow", 1984).

: I'm not sure if it's originally from Morrissey's pen. He does use some odd quotes in his lyrics, but it's the most "original" source I can find...

: Mikko

For those who may be unfamiliar with this particular Morrissey, Steven Patrick Morrissey is an English musician in his 60s, who sometimes is credited as "The Smiths." Music by him has appeared in some American movies. I googled the lyrics for "Handsome Devil." It is true that the song contains the words in question, and also true that he sometimes quotes all or part of well-known phrases. The phrase in question is somewhat incongruous in this song, not only because of the refrain which begins "Let me get my hands
On your mammary glands," but also because the other verses, unlike the one containing the phrase in question, are rhymed and distinctly unbookish in their tone and meaning.
The phrase seems to me to be a literary quote, but I know not from whom. My appreciation of the meaning is that it is based on an ironic equivocation. "There's more...than books," Polonius-like platitude, then the kicker: "but not much more," a second thought, perhaps a bittersweet arriere-pensee, undercutting his own argument. Am I reading too much into this? SS

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