Monday, December 10, 2007


What is an Aporism?

Main Entry:

Middle French aphorisme, from Late Latin aphorismus, from Greek aphorismos definition, aphorism, from aphorizein to define, from apo- + horizein to bound —
1 : a concise statement of a principle
2 : a terse formulation of a truth or sentiment : adage

Wikipedia has this article about Aphorisms:


A new book explores the use of an aphorism:

Geary's Guide to the World's Great Aphorists (Hardcover)
by James Geary (Author)

Book Description
Bestselling expert James Geary’s enlightening, entertaining compendium of wit and wisdom, from Sun Tzu to Desmond Tutu—and 350 aphorists in between.

Both an expert and a collector, James Geary has devoted his life to aphorisms—and the last few years to organizing, indexing, and even translating them.

The result is Geary’s Guide, featuring classic writers like Voltaire, Twain, Shakespeare, and Nietzsche, but also more surprising figures, such as Woody Allen, Muhammad Ali, Emily Dickinson, and Mae West.

Some of the aphorists appear in English for the first time.

But it is more than just a conventional anthology.

It is also an encyclopedia, containing brief biographies of each author in addition to a selection of his or her aphorisms.

The book is a field guide, too, with aphorists organized into eight different “species,” such as Comics, Critics & Satirists; Icons & Iconoclasts; and Painters & Poets.

The book’s two indexes—by author and by subject—make it easily searchable, while its unique organizational structure and Geary’s lively biographical entries make it different from all previous reference works.

Geary’s Guide is eminently suitable for browsing or for sustained reading. A comprehensive guide to our most intimate, idiosyncratic literary form, the book is an indispensable tool for writers and public speakers as well as essential reading for all language lovers.

You can listen to a great interview with the author at the following link:

Listener Amused by Guide to Aphorisms

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