The Science, Psychology and Soul of Wit
Wit is often thought of as simply being funny. But wit is more than just having a knack for snappy comebacks. Wit is the quick, instinctive intelligence that allows us to think, say or do the right thing at the right time in the right place.
Wit’s End shows how wit is a state of mind as well as a sense of humor and why wit and wisdom are really the same thing.
I Is an Other
The Secret Life of Metaphor and
How It Shapes the Way We See the World
New York Times bestselling author James Geary offers a fascinating look at metaphors and their influence in every aspect of our lives, from ordinary conversation and commercial messaging to news reports and political speeches.
Geary's Guide to the
World's Great Aphorists
Geary's Guide is the result of a lifetime's obsession with aphorisms and a year's death-defying research in the British Library. More than 350 authors from around the world, some of whom appear here in English for the first time, are brought together in this lively and thought-provoking compendium.
The World in a Phrase
A Brief History of the Aphorism
The World in a Phrase is a whimsical, humorous tour through the history of this remarkable literary form and its extraordinary practitioners. The book chronicles the varied, often idiosyncratic backgrounds of the world’s key thinkers and shows, as eighteenth-century aphorist Vauvenargues puts it, just how much “the maxims of men reveal their hearts”.
The Body Electric
An Anatomy Of The New Bionic Senses
Drawing on fields as diverse as artificial intelligence and neuroscience, The Body Electric provides an exciting synthesis of the people and technology making the convergence between biology and technology possible, while addressing the psychological, social and philosophical implications of these startling developments.
More Aphorisms by George Murray
In the 'author's note' to his most recent book of aphorisms, Quick, George Murray describes aphorisms as "poetic essences" or "poems without all the poetry getting in the way." "With an aphorism," he writes, "I am trying to convey a poetic idea, or a moment of epiphany in the most economical way possible, but without losing the elegance and solidity of the well-crafted poem." The idea and experience of epiphany is perhaps the best organizational principle through which to approach George's work. His aphorisms are carefully distilled tinctures, administered with pinpoint accuracy and utmost efficacy across a wide range of issues and concerns, including the subject of epiphanies...
Epiphany is the third ball thrown towards hands that have already caught one each.
Many of his aphorisms are, in fact, "poetic essences": the essential image, shorn of any formal superstructure—the artichoke's heart without its choke, thorns or petals...
Each leaf is a table at which the sun dines.
The brain is a catcher's mitt.
Memory is the purest form of imagination.
(Wordsworth, "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud")
Jugglers are thieves pickpocketing the air.
A man standing at a dead end need only turn around to the see road continue.
Two things that are equal are each halves.
Other aphorisms are more politically minded, achieving at times a kind of imagistic social satire:
Politics weaponizes idiocy.
Age is a process of coming to terms with the unmade bedding of one's own eyes each morning.
At birth we are presented with a menu and life is the couple of minutes the waitress is giving us to decide.
Leaders are seldom the first to arrive.
Quick rewards readers with memorable insights and imagery, delivered with grace and precision. And if you like these extracts, check out George's previous collection, Glimpse: Selected Aphorisms, which I blogged about back on January 21 2011.