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


  1. Looking very much forward to getting my hands on this fine collection. Fabrizio has a wonderful website where he generously highlights the work of aphorists from all over the world. He’s a true devotee of this much misunderstood art.

  2. Thank very much for the article about this italian anthology that shows an interesting cross-section of our ‘short writing’ world, categorically contradicting the commonplace that in Italy the aphorism is by now, if not an extinct, at least a dying breed.

  3. Kudos and molte grazie for this work on behalf of the regal aphorism (philosophy and mirth on their way to a funeral). And many thanks to James for spotlighting it here. Fabrizio, are there plans for your own “Contagocce” or “Linee di seta” collections to appear in translation, too? If so, I look forward to reading them as well!

  4. Fabrizio, I ended up purchasing a copy of The New Italian Aphorists right after I posted here about a month ago. I very much enjoyed the book and posted some aphorisms from the book at Twitter. I especially like this one of yours: “Every day the invisible challenges the imagination to a duel.”

  5. Dear Olivia and Michael, sorry, i read this comments with delay.

    In 2014 Linee di seta will be print and translated in Mexico in spanish language. I don’t plan a traslation for Linee di Seta in Us. It’s difficult to find the pubblisher and above all the readers.

    “Every day the invisible challenges the imagination to a duel” is my preferite aphorism!

    Linee di seta is completely free on Aforisticamente, but in italian version.