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Entertaining, illuminating, and entirely unique, Wit’s End “convey[s] the power of wit to refresh the mind” (Henry Hitchings, Wall Street Journal).
In “this inventive and playful book” (Tom Beer, Newsday), James Geary explores every facet of wittiness, from its role in innovation to why puns are the highest form of wit. Adopting a different style for each chapterfrom dramatic dialogue to sermon, heroic couplets to a barroom monologueGeary embodies wit in all its forms. Wit’s End agilely balances psychology, folktale, visual art, and literary history with lighthearted humor and acute insight, demonstrating that wit and wisdom are really the same thing.
James Geary is the author of four previous books, including the New York Times bestseller The World in a Phrase, and is the deputy curator at Harvard University’s Nieman Foundation for Journalism. A sought-after speaker and avid juggler, he lives near Boston, Massachusetts.
Table of Contents
Oft Was Thought, An Essay in Sixty-Four Lines 1
One Bad Apple, Or, An Apology for Paronomasia 5
Thirty-Five Days in May 17
Watchers at the Gates of Mind: Wit and Its Relation to Witzelsucht, Malapropisms, and Bipolar Disorder 35