Aphorisms by James Guida

Jim Finnegan, proprietor of the always enlightening ursprache blog as well as the aphoristically amazing Tramp Freighter, sends news of James Guida, an Australian aphorist who now lives in New York City: “His aphorisms show the marks of having studied both philosophy and literature. A collection of his aphorisms, Marbles,was published by Turtle Point Press in 2009. It took me a while to engage James Guida’s aphorisms. At first, I found them a bit slack for a form that often relies on one line pulled taut. Too many were built with two sentences when it seemed one would do. But a third of the way into the Marbles, my opinion shifted and I felt myself becoming more attuned to Guida’s wry sensibility and his casually self-revealing voice. Also, I realized the two-sentence approach was not always doing the same thing; it was working things out in different ways. Sometimes the second sentence was reflection, sometimes an elaboration, sometimes an inflection of the first line. Here few from his collection:”

There is after all a criminal aspect to Solitude. It too would like to snuff out the witnesses.

How incredibly little a person has to know in order to live, and how incredibly much he has to know without knowing it.

Perfectly good fruit, simply in being bumped about by chance, indifferently sniffed at, idly handled and overlooked, is sometimes gradually made unfit for those who would otherwise choose it. So it is with lovers.

I’ve noticed that I rarely make the same mistake twice. I make it a little differently each time.

Few things disclose a person’s own colors more than their behavior with those they consider a little green.

Nothing less interesting than the conversation meant to be overheard.

Some people are distinguished by the fact that, meeting them alone, it’s impossible to imagine what their spouses look like.