Posted by ESC on July 05, 2000
In Reply to: ORIGIN OF THE PHRASE: DEVIL IS IN THE DETAILS posted by Joel Rojas on July 05, 2000
: I'm looking for the origin of the phrase:
: "The Devil is in the details".
: I believe it was made in response to the
: "God is in the details."
: -Mies van der Rohe
DEVIL IS IN THE DETAILS - The "Random House Dictionary of Popular Proverbs and Sayings" by Gregory Y. Titelman (Random House, New York, 1996) shows this phrase as a variation of "God is in the details - Whatever one does should be done thoroughly; details are important. The saying is generally attributed to Gustave Flaubert (1821-80), who is often quoted as saying, 'Le bon Dieu est dans le detail' (God is in the details). Other attributions include Michelangelo, the architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and the art historian Aby Warburg. 'The Devil is in the details' is a variant of the proverb, referring to a catch hidden in the details. 'Governing is in the details''and 'The truth, if it exists, is in the details' are recent variants. Listed as an anonymous saying in the sixteenth edition of Barlett's 'Familiar Quotations,' edited by Justin Kaplan."