I Is an Other: The Secret Life of Metaphor and How it Shapes the Way We See the World

I Is an Other: The Secret Life of Metaphor and How it Shapes the Way We See the World

by James Geary
I Is an Other: The Secret Life of Metaphor and How it Shapes the Way We See the World

I Is an Other: The Secret Life of Metaphor and How it Shapes the Way We See the World

by James Geary



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For lovers of language and fans of Blink and FreakonomicsNew York Times bestselling author James Geary offers this fascinating look at metaphors and their influence in every aspect of our lives, from art to medicine, psychology to the stock market.

From President Obama’s political rhetoric to the bursting of the housing bubble, from conversations to commercials, James Geary shows that every aspect of our day-to-day experience is molded by metaphor. Geary takes readers from Aristotle’s investigation of metaphor right up to the latest neuroscientific insights into how metaphor works in the brain. Romeo’s exclamation “It is the East, and Juliet is the sun!” may be one of the most well-known metaphors in literature, but metaphor is more than a device of love-struck poets. As Geary demonstrates, metaphor has leaped off the page and landed with a mighty splash right in the middle of the stream of consciousness.

Witty, persuasive, and original, I Is an Other explores metaphor’s effects on financial decision making, effective advertising, leadership, learning, and more.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062041777
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 02/08/2011
Format: eBook
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 879,278
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

James Geary is the author of Geary’s Guide to the World’s Great Aphorists and the New York Times bestseller The World in a Phrase.

Table of Contents

Foreword 1

Why I is an Other

Metaphor and Thought 5

All Shook Up

Metaphor and Etymology 17

Language is Fossil Poetry

Metaphor and Money 29

How High Can a Dead Cat Bounce?

Metaphor and the Mind 44

Imagining an Apple in Someone's Eye

Metaphor and Advertising 58

Imaginary Gardens with Real Toads in Them

Metaphor and the Brain 76

Bright Sneezes and Loud Sunlight

Metaphor and the Body 94

Anger is a Heated Fluid in a Container

Metaphor and Politics 112

Freedom Fries and Liberty Cabbage

Metaphor and Pleasure 137

Experience is a Comb that Nature Gives to Bald Men

Metaphor and Children 152

How Should One Refer to the Sky?

Metaphor and Science 167

The Earth is Like a Rice Pudding

Metaphor and Parables and Proverbs 179

Mighty Darn Good Lies

Metaphor and Innovation 197

Make it Strange

Metaphor and Psychology 208

A Little Splash of Color From my Mother

Backword 223

The Logic of Metaphor

Acknowledgments 227

Notes 229

Bibliography 259

Index 291

What People are Saying About This

Jay Parini

“This book is for everyone interested in the subtle operations of language and thought....I is an Other is one of those ‘must-read’ books for this year, for any year. It deserves a wide audience, and it will find one.”

Michael Dirda

“Sherlock Holmes could glance at a bowler hat and tell that its owner’s wife had ceased to love him. In this brilliant book about metaphor James Geary is no less astonishing....You’ll scarf down every page of I Is an Other and then ask for more.”

Ben Schott

“This book is a prism, refracting the white light of language into a kaleidoscopic celebration of its images and etymologies.”

David Brooks

“In his fine new book, James Geary [shows that] metaphors are not rhetorical frills at the edge of how we think. They are at the very heart of it.”

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