The Non-Fiction Quiz


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The non-fiction quiz conducted by Rajagopal and Yours truly, on 4th May 2014, for the Karnataka Quiz Association at IAT, Queen's Road, Bangalore.

Cover image credits: by Chaitanya
Due to technical issues on the day of the event, the quiz was compiled in haste. Please pardon typos/grammatical errors

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The Non-Fiction Quiz

  1. 1. Image Credits By Chaitanya
  2. 2. When Soviet dissident Natan Sharansky was imprisoned by the KGB, he had a copy of a compilation of X’s puzzles in a magazine and says it helped him outwit his guards. In his 1964 work, The Ambidextrous Universe, X quotes 2 lines of verse from Y’s 1962 work Z. In Z the verses are supposed to have been written by a John Shade and that is who X credits. Y returned the favor by having a character Van Veen in his 1969 book “Ada or Ardor: A Family Chronicle” quote from X’s ambidextrous universe - “Space is a swarming in the eyes, and Time a singing in the ears”. X (author), Y(author) and Z(book)?. (1 point each) R1
  3. 3. X = Martin Gardner Y = Vladimir Nabokov Z = Pale Fire R1A
  4. 4. In the July 29, 1946 edition of The Hollywood Reporter, its founder and publisher William Wilkerson wrote an article title “A vote for _ _ _ _ _ _”. The contents of this and subsequent articles in August and September of that year are known as Billy’s List. This is now considered to be the 1st suggestion of X, something that happened a few years later. In a 65th anniversary article, Wilkerson’s son, William Wilkerson III, apologized for his father’s role. What did William Wilkerson kick off with his article in 1946? i.e What is X? R2
  5. 5. The Hollywood Blacklist R2A
  6. 6. Warren Christopher, Bill Clinton’s 1st Secretary of State, was not enthusiastic about US involvement in the Balkans and explained his reluctance saying “The hatred between the three groups - Bosnians and Serbs and Croats - is almost unbelieveable. It’s almost terrifying and it’s centuries old. That really is a _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _”. X, an Irish born, US educated journalist working in the Balkans in the mid 1990s titled her Pulitzer winning 2002 book (Y) ( about America’s response to genocide in the 20th century - Armenia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Rwanda etc ) with that phrase. X and Y? R3
  7. 7. X = Samantha Power Y = A Problem From Hell R3A
  8. 8. Written by a Princeton economist, this influential 1973 book argued that asset prices typically exhibit signs of a _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _, that past movement of a stock price is no indicator of future movement and that one cannot consistently beat market averages. The book has been cited in favor of the efficient market hypothesis. What is the name of the book or fill in the blank. R4
  9. 9. Random Walk Book name is “A Random Walk down Wall Street” R4A
  10. 10. The origin of the word / term X does not have anything to do with Einstein or Planck but goes back to 1926 and a “Letter to the Editor” written by G N Lewis to “Nature” magazine. In it Lewis writes, “the process whereby an atom loses radiant energy, and another near or distant atom receives the same energy, is characterised by a remarkable abruptness and singleness” “Had there not seemed to be insuperable objections, one might have been tempted to adopt the hypothesis that we are dealing here with a new type of atom, an identifiable entity, uncreatable and indestructible, which acts as the carrier of radiant energy” R5
  11. 11. “ I therefore take the liberty of proposing for this hypothetical new atom, which is not light but plays an essential part in every process of radiation, the name X”. What is X? R5
  12. 12. X = Photon R5A
  13. 13. The 1952 book “Picture” is believed to be the 1st making-of-the-movie book. Written by Lillian Ross, a long time New Yorker writer, it started as a series of articles in the New Yorker about John Huston’s making of war movie X, an adaptation of a 1895 novel of the same name. Which critical and commercial failure from 1952?. R6
  14. 14. Red Badge of Courage R6
  15. 15. In his book “Science of Shakespeare”, science journalist Dan Falk argues that Hamlet is really about the battle for supremacy between the X, Y and Z systems (which Z ultimately won). X is a Greek who did his work in Alexandria almost 2000 years ago. Among the pieces of evidence Falk gives is that the setting of Hamlet, Elsinore castle, is where Y made his observations and that Y had relatives called Rosencranz and Guildstern. X, Y and Z? (1 point for each) R7
  16. 16. X = Ptolemy, Y = Tycho Brahe Z = Copernicus R7A
  17. 17. What document from 1616 is the inspiration for the poem being recited or what is the name of the poem?. The poet is the 1st LGBT poet laureate of Britain. Who? (1 point for inspiration or poem name, 1 point for poet) (play audio from 17 seconds in) R8
  18. 18. The poem is called “Anne Hathaway” - it is based on a line from Shakespeare’s will - “Item i gyve unto my wife my second best ved…” The poet is Carol Ann Duffy R8A
  19. 19. What is the context? R9
  20. 20. Issued by a slightly bitter Governor of Ohio - after Lebron James took his talents to South Beach (Miami) and lost the NBA finals to Dallas Mavericks. R9A
  21. 21. It was written to popularise views and ideas opposite to those developed by a W.D.Hamilton in the 1960s. In a foreword to a 30th anniversary edition, the author concedes that “the title might give an inadequate impression of its contents” and that he should have taken the advise of Tom Maschler, a publisher” and called it The Immortal - - - -, because immortal was an up word while X was a down word. What did end up being the title of the best selling 1976 book? R10
  22. 22. The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins R10
  23. 23. Written as a tongue-in-cheek reference guide mocking a subculture of Northeast American school and college students and their fashion and mannerism, this 1980 book ended up glamorising the culture. Fill in the blanked word from the title on the next page. R11
  24. 24. R11
  25. 25. Preppy R11A
  26. 26. If Greece was glory, Rome was grandeur, Egypt was splendour and Babylon was greatness, what was India? R12
  27. 27. Wonder - The Wonder that was India by A. L. Basham was one in a series of books commissioned by publisher Sedgwick and Jackson with titles The Glory that was Greece, The Grandeur that was Rome etc. The titles came from a Poe poem “To Helen” R12
  28. 28. Dinah Fried has written a book called “Fictitious Dishes”, recreating dishes from works of literature. Id the work of literature in each case (one point each). a. R13
  29. 29. b. R13
  30. 30. a. Alice in Wonderland b. Fear and loathing in Las Vegas R13
  31. 31. This writer was a champion of writers' rights, and was blacklisted in the 1950s for his liberal views; it was during this time that he wrote his 1,200+ page work(ID the title) for which he is best known. An obituary in Times of London had the following to say about him “ ____ _____ belongs to that select group of journalists who successfully made the transition from the recording of news to the writing of history”. Id the writer, whose long association with M K Gandhi culminated in a 1980 book Gandhi : A Memoir. 14
  32. 32. William Shirer
  33. 33. Sometime in the mid 70s, in the month of June, the editorial page of The Indian Express appeared thus. The newspaper also quoted Tagore “Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high…”. Funda, please. 15
  34. 34. Blank editorial as a protest against Emergency imposed by Indira Gandhi
  35. 35. A reviews of sorts(initial reactions) on Gregory Mankiw’s Blog. The book has three main elements: 1. A history of inequality and wealth. 2. A forecast of how things will evolve over the next century 3. Policy recommendations, such as a global tax on wealth. Point 1 is a significant contribution. I like this part of the book a lot. Point 2 is highly conjectural. Economists are really bad at such things. Point 3 is as much about ____’s personal political philosophy as it is about his economics. As we all know, you can’t get “ought” from “is.” Like President Obama and others on the left, _____ wants to spread the wealth around. Id the much-in-the-news book & the author 16
  36. 36. Thomas Piketty’s Capital in The Twenty-First Century
  37. 37. In May 1997, Newsweek published an article titled “Brain’s Last Stand” by Stephen Levy which started with the following lines “The hope of humanity is in a good mood on a bitterly cold Sunday in late April in Moscow, less than a week before embarking for New York City to represent our species in a battle that may one day become the prime landmark in technology’s ineluctable march to surpass its makers”. The article was written as a build-up to what “landmark event”? 17
  38. 38. Gary Kasparov vs Deep Blue - Rematch
  39. 39. “Marriage of Inconvenience: John Ruskin and Euphemia Gray”, is a 2013 book that tries to chronicle the reasons for ending of the union between Euphemia Gray and the Victorian art critic and polymath John Ruskin. The author, Robert Brownell, after thorough research, has drawn conclusions that are at odds with the established story. What was the established story before the publication of this work? Additional hint: Ruskin was the author of Stones of Venice -- a three volume tome on Venetian art & architecture and Modern Painters- 5 volumes on the most 18
  40. 40. Ruskin failed to consummate his marriage and hence the marriage was annulled. The reason for non-consummation: Ruskin was shocked at the sight of Euphemia naked, knowing women's bodies only from statues and paintings.
  41. 41. 2002: Javed Akthar 2009: Lata Mangeshkar 2011: A R Rahman 2012: Gulzar 2014: Waheeda Rehman “I am angry with myself for not having pursued Raj Khosla and Vijay Anand. My biggest problem is, who next?” Who? What works are we talking about(a specific answer please) 19
  42. 42. Nasreen Munni Kabir’s biographical conversations
  43. 43. The essay Notes on “____” by X starts with “Many things in the world have not been named; and many things, even if they have been named, have never been described. One of these is the sensibility -- unmistakably modern, a variant of sophistication but hardly identical with it -- that goes by the cult name of _____.” Later, the author explains that there is a difference between ____ and Kitsch, while the former refers to the performance, the latter refers to the work of art itself. Word and the author, please 20
  44. 44. Camp, Susan Sontag “The ultimate Camp statement: it's good because it's awful . . . Of course, one can't always say that. Only under certain conditions, those which I've tried to sketch in these notes shown below”
  45. 45. Dr. Koenraad Elst in his essay Tale of Two Murders, writes about the murder of two popular leaders(X & Y). Dr. Elst writes that although Y’s murder drew parallels with the deaths of Anwar Sadat, Indira Gandhi & Rajiv Gandhi, the real comparison is with X. He goes on to say that X was killed for the very same reason as Y: both conceded "land for peace". Like Y, X was murdered by a diehard belonging to his own community. Identify X & Y 21
  46. 46. Gandhi & Rabin
  47. 47. When asked about the genesis of his masterpiece, the author said “my editor said you can do pieces you want, and you can do pieces we want. The first piece was what I wanted to do”. It was about a guy named Alden Whitman and the piece was called “Mr Bad News”. Identify the occupation of Alden Whitman and the writer, whose next piece, on a singer/actor, is considered as one of the best celebrity profiles ever written. 22
  48. 48. Alden Whitman was an obituary writer at the New York Times. Author: Gay Talese His next piece was “Frank Sinatra Has a Cold”
  49. 49. Vishnu Narayan Bhatkande’s works on Indian Classical Music are considered very important for prior to his work, the Ragas were classified as Raga(male), Ragini(female) and Putra(child); Bhatkande devised a new system similar to the Carnatic system __X___ . In the new system 10 different groups called __Y__ were formed, each named after famous ragas associated with these __Y__s. 23
  50. 50. Melakarta Raaga Thaat
  51. 51. The following is an excerpt from a blogpost by a famous Indian movie director. "There is always a thin line between farce and fantasy. I was having so much fun shooting the characters of _______, with such fine actors, that I thought the film would be turning into a farce. And films like ____ cannot turn into a farce, they must be like a fantasy that makes you believe in what is happening, or there will be a rejection from the audience, specially from Children. There is a sense of emotional involvement and believability that rides through the film“. Identify the film and the director 24
  52. 52. Shekar Kapoor on why he killed Tina in Mr. India
  53. 53. From an interview of Yehuda Amichai: Interviewer: Did your father fight in WW1? YA: Yes, he did. So did my uncle, my mother’s brother, who fell in 1916—I have a poem about that. It was strange for Jews who fought in World War I—Jewish people were divided among feuding nations. There were Jews fighting for Germany, for France, for Britain, for Russia, Jewish rabbis praying for the Allies, for the Turks, for the Germans and the Austrians. It was very much like the ______ in the Middle East—Israeli ___fighting for Israel, Syrian _____fighting for Syria against Israel. Identify these People of Monotheism 25
  54. 54. Druze
  55. 55. “Several people have pointed to Walt Disney’s cooptation of ____’s music for Fantasia in 1940 as the moment when the work officially lost its edge, reports on the subsequent performances in Paris and the reviews of the London premiere show that it did not take three decades—or even three years—for audiences to see past the shock and find the beauty in ___ ___. It took a few weeks.” Id the work which celebrated the 100th anniversary of premiere on May 29th 2013 26
  56. 56. Rite of Spring by Igor Stravinsky
  57. 57. Jijamata Udyaan houses one of the oldest zoos in India that finds regular mention in the lists of world’s worst maintained zoos. Apparently, the existing enclosures do not conform to anti-cruelty guidelines and hence the zoo has decided to stuff animals and put ‘em on display in a taxidermy museum. The locality where this park is situated was in the title of a 2014 work. Identify the work and the author 27
  58. 58. Husain Zaidi Byculla to Bangkok
  59. 59. This Fissured Land : An Ecological History of India, is co-authored by Dr. Madhav Gadgil(founder of the Center for Ecological Studies at the IISc) and a famous author. The book aims to offer a fresh perspective on both the ecological history of India and on theoretical issues of interest to environmentalists. Identify the second author, whose doctoral work focussed on Chipko Movement and culminated in a work titled The Unquiet Woods. 28
  60. 60. Ramachandra Guha
  61. 61. Suragi is a type of flower grown in the Western Ghats that retains its fragrance even when it dries up. An autobiography released late last year(2013) of this Bangalore based author was titled “Suragi”. Due to poor health, this author narrated his personal life to a certain Ms Tejasri who compiled the work. Identify this Bangalore based author 29
  62. 62. U R Ananthamurthy
  63. 63. A dedication by Author A(in his work) to author B and her work. All 4 elements, please 29
  64. 64. Solomon Northup’s dedication to Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin in 12 Years a Slave.