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The World in a Phrase par [Geary, James]
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Longueur : 242 pages Word Wise: Activé Composition améliorée: Activé
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Descriptions du produit

Présentation de l'éditeur

Starting with the ancient Chinese and ending with contemporary Europeans and Americans, The World in a Phrase tells the story of the aphorism through spirited and amusing biographies of some of its greatest practitioners, including Emily Dickinson, and Mark Twain and Dorothy Parker; great French aphorists like Montaigne, La Rochefoucauld, and Chamfort; philosophers like Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, and Wittgenstein; as well as prophets and sages like the Buddha, Lao Tzu, and Jesus. In our modern age, The World in a Phrase explores how aphorisms still retain the power to instigate and inspire, enlighten and enrage, entertain and edify.
James Geary is the author of The Body Electric: An Anatomy of the New Bionic Senses. He lives in London with his wife and three children.
"James Geary's celebration of the smallest-and sometimes wisest-of literary forms. Geary defines the characteristics of aphorisms and discusses their history and their role in his life, and shares the work of renowned aphorists from Buddha to Dr. Seuss."-Associated Press

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 742 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 242 pages
  • Editeur : Bloomsbury USA; Édition : 1 (1 février 2011)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B004LB4GZY
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.2 étoiles sur 5 18 commentaires
19 internautes sur 21 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Wonderful! 15 mars 2006
Par angela bardoe - Publié sur
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
This book was amazing! Not only did it include quirky, enlightening, and thought-prokoking aphorisms, but it also gave a background about the writer of the aphorisms too. needless to say, this has sent me on numerous tangents wanting to learn more. I have bought four or five other books since based on what I read here. I'm sure I will be reading this one over and over again. Couldn't reccommend it enough.
17 internautes sur 20 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Writing Your Own Bible 20 avril 2006
Par Sejanus - Publié sur
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
James Geary explores the history and development of aphoristic expression in this useful little book, and he does so by both entertaining and informing in the way aphorisms do. His last chapter is about the Jefferson Bible, and it sums up his project very nicely. As Geary concludes in the end, "aphorisms are the elixir of life," for only they "tell it like it really is." So reading Geary's book can be like walking through a minefield populated with the most exquisite fauna, a bracing and hazardous experience that is also filled with wonder. Those who live in the warm embrace of received wisdom, and who comfort themselves with rosey reliance on conformity in thought and deed, will not enjoy this journey. But as the book points out in quoting Jenny Holzer, "playing it safe can cause a lot of damage in the long run." Reading this book now after having read many of the authors Geary surveys, and having learned to my delight of those unknown to me, I was encouraged to press on in my own way of thinking, to stop doubting myself. There is not a self-help book in the world that will bully you into your sense the way Nietzsche or Chamfort can with an absolute economy of words. Geary's book was such a breath of fresh air, especially in this age of spin and lies, because he brings the reader face to face with those who spoke directly without apology about the truth of the human condition.
11 internautes sur 12 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 For the love of Aphorisms 18 décembre 2005
Par Shalom Freedman - Publié sur
Format: Relié
I understand Mr. Geary well, for I have also loved and cherished Aphorisms from my childhood.
The idea of finding 'wisdom' and 'insight into life' in one brief memorable sentence has long been part of my reading and thinking.
I do not know however, if I would , exactly accept his definition of the Aphorism as it seems to me that there are 'Aphorisms' which do not require some kind of 'twist' or ' surprise' but simply by their profundity overwhelm and reverberate in our consciousness.
Consider Pascal's " The silence of these infinite spaces casts me into dread" or Wittgenstein's " Of that which we cannot speak, we must be silent".
And as I say this I wonder if I am not perhaps going beyond the bounds of the 'Aphorism' and simply assuming that it contains 'all memorable statements'.
In any case there is much to be learned and enjoyed in this historical excursion into one of Literature and Life's most delightful forms.
21 internautes sur 26 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Wisdom in small doses... 27 janvier 2006
Par J. M. Hannam - Publié sur
Format: Relié
I tend to avoid cliches like the plague. I find them to be hypocritical, seldom usefull, and stereotypcial. Cliches are over utilized today in society for many reasons. One; most people are too lazy to read, and two; few care about expanding their palette of knowledge.

My faith in the wisdom of succint phrases had nearly fizzled out until my eyes beheld James Geary's work of genius. The book commences with a short biographical sketch of Geary's interest in aphorisms and proceeds to define what exactly an aphorism is.

He then designs the book chronologically. So as one reads the book they are traveling through an aphorism timeline. Geary first outlines the great sage aphorists, beginning with Lao-tzu, Budda, up too Muhammad.

The book continues through time briefly outlining the various aphorists up to present day. Geary provides the reader with a biographical taste of the various aphorists and leaves you hungering for more. The World in a Phrase is a quick read packed with nuggets of wisdom one can use over and over again.
10 internautes sur 12 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Aphorisms belong to everybody 6 janvier 2006
Par Jerry Guild - Publié sur
Format: Relié
What a gem of a book this is.I have enjoyed and in a rather loose fashion,collected them for as long as I remember hearing them as a child.I often wonder who made them up in the first place;a wonderment which only becomes greater with time.I don't remember what was the first one I ever heard ;maybe my Mom telling me that "If you're going to tell lies you'll need an awfully good memory.",or my Dad saying "Haste makes waste".It seems some are forgotten while others stick like glue.

Geary makes a noble attempt to put order and reason into this great use of language.Aphorisms are used by all cultures, in all fields of endeavors,all levels of education;it doesn't matter where you go, you'll find them.The author leans in his discussions to the great leaders,thinkers and writers of history but Aphorisms are as much the property of the most common and uneducated of people as they are of the famous.One of the common elements of them is that of wisdom and that can be found in all walks of life.

The author has been a long time fan of them and even tried his hand at composing them.He gives us a sample of his attempts;

"Not too many people live in the desert."

"Sometimes,two goldfish in a bowl are enough."

He tells us one of his all time favorites is;

"I have often been forced on my knees by the overwhelming conviction that there is no place else to go"-Abraham Lincoln

Then there's one that he thinks about every day;

"The difference between a rut and a grave is the depth."

He attempts to write the 5 Laws of Aphorisms;

1 It must be brief.

2 It must be definitive,it must proclaim rather than argue

ie,"Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel".

3 It must be personal."Don't think!,Do."

4 It must have a twist."An original writer is not one who

imitates nobody,but one who nobody can imitate."

5 It must be philosophical."many accidents are today's

purposes." or "The Maxims of men reveal their hearts. I am not sure at all that there there are 5 laws that either cover all Aphorisms or that all Aphorisms adhere to,but it was a good exercise for the author to think about.But,so what,the thought is worthwhile.

He covers sayings from the down to earth unsophisticated lines of Yogi Berra when asked the time;"You mean now?" to the words of the great Oscar Wilde,"To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance".Then there even quotes from Dr.Seusse;

"You have brains in your head

You have feet in your shoes

You can steer yourself

Any direction you choose."

Then he takes a look at some present day stuff;Jenny Holzen writes them for all sorts of products and gives us one from a condom wrapper;

"Men don't protect you anymore".

There is no end to this business of Aphorisms,one-liners,proverbs,sayings,truisms,maxims,epigrms,adages,dictums,or whatever else you choose to call them;they comprise the wisdom of the ages and this book makes a good stab at trying to analyze them.Take one like "You can't get blood out of a stone";It doesnt really matter who was the first to say it,whether you first heard it in a bar room or read it in a great work of literature;it is does meet all the 5 Laws Geary has given us.

Another type of one-liners I collect is more often referred to

as 'insults ' .Although Geary doesn't address them,they meet his 5 Laws.A few of my favorites are;

"He's a nice guy,but a half bubble off plumb."

"His gene pool doesn't have a deep end."

"His wheel's spinning,but his hampster's asleep.

"Where people have a brain,he has resonance."

"He hasn't the brainpower to toast a crouton."

"He's all booster,no payload."

Just a few different than the old standards like;

"He's not playing with a full deck."

Well, we just finished another year filled with a continuing stream of events;but the Aphorism that was new to me and one of the best I've ever heard was from Lt.General Honare who took over operations in New Orleans,after Hurricane Katrina..."Don't Get Stuck on Stupid";aqain it meets all the 5 spades!

If you like this sort of thing,or are often lost for a statement to wrap up a discussion,this book is for you.
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