Aphorisms by Eino Vastaranta

Eino Vastaranta, born in 1967, is a Finnish aphorist who also writes humorous columns, jokes, and haiku. He lives and blogs in Helsinki. Vastaranta’s sayings have that distinctive, uniquely Finnish streak of dark wit, the same kind of gallows humor that characterizes many aphorisms from Central and Eastern Europe. But the Finns are, in general, even bleaker in their assessment of the human race. “When the next Flood comes, I wish the animals pushed Noah overboard,” Vastaranta writes. Yet there is a whiff of mysticism in Vastaranta’s aphorisms, perhaps even a (faint) hope of redemption. And, luckily, they are often funny. My thanks to Sami Feiring for alerting me to Eino Vastaranta’s aphorisms.

Always look from the same viewpoint: a new one.

We don’t believe until we see, and we don’t see once we believe.

Human being, inhuman doing.

I can’t see the forest for the cut-down trees.

Search and you shall find—yourself, searching.

You cannot get rid of your roots until you are six feet under.

You can have the last word. Then it’s my turn.

Aphorisms in the Latest Issue of FragLit II

The latest issue of the excellent FragLit Magazine is out and it includes aphorisms by Georges Perros and Marty Rubin; the latter being an alum of this blog. FragLit is edited by Olivia Dresher, an accomplished aphorist herself. Of Perros, FragLt writes: “Papiers collés (Paper Collage, 1960, 1973, 1978), the three-volume notebook written by Georges Perros (1923-1978) and published by Gallimard, continues to enjoy a cult status among French readers because of the author’s sardonic maxims, vignettes, short prose narratives, and philosophical remarks. Excerpts are translated here for the first time in English by John Taylor.” Some Perros aphorisms:

Once we have learned the answer, we often say: that’s what I thought. Thinking is perhaps this.

Life is every now and then.

Here is the full FragLit selection of Perros aphorisms.

Marty Rubin’s aphorisms continue to be whimsical, witty, and wise:

Between thoughts, travel far and wide.

Writing is talking to yourself—with the hope of being overheard.

When you look into things you see things that aren’t there.

Here’s the full Fraglit selection of Rubin aphorisms, Out of Context.

Four of my Assays, abbreviated aphoristic essays, appear in this issue, too.

In the poem/essay Why Aphorisms?, Stephen Coltin writes:

In matters of the highest importance,
only fools are edified by exposition.
Philosophers (if I might be permitted
to amend Samuel Johnson’s aphorism),
“need to be reminded, more often
than they need to be instructed.”