Aphorisms by Gregory Norminton

Gregory Norminton describes himself as a “novelist and seated person.” From that sedentary position, he also writes really good aphorisms, which you can peruse on his aptly titled website How to be Awake. Norminton is a fan of E.M. Cioran and La Rochefoucauld and it shows (and I mean that in a good way): Their dark insights into the human condition glitter around the edges of these aphorisms. And like those two great aphorists, Norminton clearly feels no dismal truth is so bleak that it doesn’t also deserve a laugh. Whereas the laughter in Cioran’s sayings often sounds like a wracking cough from a graveyard, and the laughter in La Rochefoucauld is as sarcastic and mocking as it is hearty, Norminton’s laughter is genuinely jolly and a bit wisecracking. He describes his aphoristic agenda thusly: “Is it procrastination or literature? A bit of both, probably. Here you’ll find a selection of aphorisms as they ‘occur’ to me (i.e. once I’ve puzzled over every comma). Enjoy. And observe copyright.” I trust I will have strictly observed copyright while still offering a small selection of Norminton’s most profound procrastinations. Go to How to be Awake to read more.

The failure of extraterrestrial intelligence to contact us may well be proof of its existence.

We declare the person fascinating who listens to us longest.

What’s blindingly obvious cannot be looked at.

A better word for triumph is reprieve.

One day, the messengers of the world will rise up and shoot first.

If a truth falls on deaf ears, does it make a sound?