Gearys Guide to the Worlds Great Aphorists

Gearys Guide to the Worlds Great Aphorists

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by James Geary
     
 

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Both an expert and a collector, James Geary has devoted his life to aphorisms-and the last few years to organizing, indexing, and even translating them. The result is Gearys Guide, featuring aphorists like Voltaire, Twain, Shakespeare, Nietzsche, Woody Allen, Muhammad Ali, Emily Dickinson, and Mae West, as well as international practitioners appearing in English for…  See more details below

Overview

Both an expert and a collector, James Geary has devoted his life to aphorisms-and the last few years to organizing, indexing, and even translating them. The result is Gearys Guide, featuring aphorists like Voltaire, Twain, Shakespeare, Nietzsche, Woody Allen, Muhammad Ali, Emily Dickinson, and Mae West, as well as international practitioners appearing in English for the first time. But it is more than just a conventional anthology. It is also an encyclopedia, containing brief biographies of each author in addition to a selection of his or her aphorisms. The book is a field guide, too, with aphorists organized into eight different "species," such as Comics, Critics & Satirists; Icons & Iconoclasts; and Painters & Poets. The books two indexes-by author and by subject-make it easily searchable, while its unique organizational structure and Gearys lively biographical entries set it apart from all previous reference works.
A perfect follow-up to Gearys New York Times bestseller The World in a Phrase, Gearys Guide is eminently suitable for browsing or for sustained reading. A comprehensive guide to our most intimate, idiosyncratic literary form, the book is an indispensable tool for writers and public speakers as well as essential reading for all language lovers.

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Editorial Reviews

Michael Dirda
Geary has done a lot of research, both in libraries, where he claims to have consulted 1,400 volumes, and on the Internet, where he now maintains an aphorism Web site to which readers can contribute. Not surprisingly then, his new book is a wonderful breviary of wisdom, insight and cynicism, and one that will immediately find a place at many bedsides…Though most readers will gravitate to the aphorisms themselves, Geary's pen portraits of their authors shouldn't be overlooked. He says something fresh or interesting about nearly everyone.
—The Washington Post
Library Journal

Aphorisms are always a delight to read; paragraph-long biographies of the aphorists, less so. New York Timesbest-selling author Geary's (The World in a Phrase) idiosyncratic book makes up for this by listing as many as four to 30 aphorisms from 350 authors. These are divided loosely into eight categories, looselybeing the operative word. "Old Souls and Oracles," for example, oddly links Yogi Berra with Augustine, Confucius, Jesus, Ecclesiastes, and Zen Masters. And why divide "Moralists" into "Major and Minor" but not do the same with "Philosophers and Theorists"? The catchall category of "Strange Beasts" contains aphorisms by such writers as Ambrose Bierce, Emily Dickinson, Diogenes, and Nietzsche, who surely could have fit better elsewhere. Geary concentrates on English, Dutch, and German aphorists because he knows those languages, but he includes translations by others. All in all, a fun book that is too quirky to serve as a reference or compendium; recommended only for large libraries with popular reading collections.
—Kitty Chen Dean

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781596917880
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Publication date:
12/08/2008
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
448
File size:
4 MB

Meet the Author

James Geary is the author of The World in a Phrase: A Brief History of the Aphorism and The Body Electric: An Anatomy of the New Bionic Senses. He lives in London with his wife and three children. His Web site is www.jamesgeary.com.
James Geary is the author of The World in a Phrase: A Brief History of the Aphorism and The Body Electric: An Anatomy of the New Bionic Senses. He lives in London with his wife and three children. His Web site is www.jamesgeary.com.

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Geary's Guide to the World's Great Aphorists 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
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