More Aphorisms by Patrick Hunt

Patrick Hunt, about whom I first blogged back in 2008, has published a new collection of aphorisms: A Few Hundred Thoughts, from Corinthian Press. In her Book Haven blog, Cynthia Haven recounts Hunt’s recent reading at the Stanford Bookstore, including the author’s description of aphorisms as “intellectual judo—much like poetry, every word counts.” This sampling of Hunt’s take on Martial’s art also comes from Haven’s blog and prompts me to reaffirm my conclusion from 2008: Patrick Hunt is a damn fine aphorist.

Only leaves know the true color of sunlight.

Humans have stomachs twice the size of their brains and three times the size of their hearts.

A constellation is a village where stars live.

Anguish is proof of the soul.

Stars obey the same laws as snails.

Unlike comets and more like candles, souls don’t burn up but down.

New Italian Aphorists

Fabrizio Caramagna, proprietor of Aforisticamente, a site devoted to Italian aphorisms, has curated the anthology The New Italian Aphorists, featuring aphorisms by writers who took part in recent biannual aphorism festivals in Italy. The book, as Caramagna describes it in the introduction, covers the full gamut of aphoristic forms: “sententious and paradoxical aphorisms, but also poetic, visual, ‘diaristic’, and philosophical aphorisms, as well as micro-essays and micro-tales, aphorism-definitions, puzzling and fantastic aphorisms, Zen aphorisms.”

The New Italian Aphorists includes established Italian authors like Maria Luisa Spaziani (Geary’s Guide 308-309), who has been nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature several times, and Fulvio Fiori (GG 31-32), who took part in the inaugural meeting of the World Aphorism Organization in London in 2008, as well as newcomers like Paolo Bianchi, who was born in 1986. The book gives readers of English a wonderful glimpse into the vibrant, vital art of the aphorism in Italy. A selection…

We always choose our enemies among those whom we would have liked to become. They are our lost image. —Amedeo Ansaldi

Sometimes we caress one another so as not to go deeper. —Amedeo Ansaldi

Writing aphorisms is an acrobatic art: thinking without a safety net. —Silvana Baroni

For a few years it is our parents who raise us; for the rest of our lives it is ours kids. —Silvana Baroni

During our youth it’s easy to swim against the current, when we are still near the source —Fabrizio Caramagna

They were both peeping at each other through the keyhole, and at last they looked each other in the eye. —Carlo Ferrario

The fundamental question is: Will there be life before death? —Fulvio Fiori

Life lasts too long to make predictions but it’s too short to make plans. —Sandro Montalto

Melancholy is the Carbon 14 of absence. —Alessandra Paganardi

You reach the peak of happiness when unhappiness is unusually close. —Alessandra Paganardi

A good aphorism can only result from a world in ruins: it’s an Apocalypse caused by a pinprick. —Mario Parrini

I would praise him if I could deliver his eulogy. —Maria Luisa Spaziani