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Review: Aphorism expert James Geary

January 21, 2011

Aphorism expert James Geary seems to really like (and have gotten the tone of) my book of aphorisms, Glimpse! It’s a great vindication for a previously unknown aphorist like me. He offers a brief opinion and set of examples at the first link above. After more than a few good reviews now, I am very happy. I also really enjoy seeing which aphorisms people choose as their highlights from the collection. It’s amazing how few repeat!

George Murray is editor of the literary website Bookninja.com and author of Glimpse: Selected Aphorisms. There is a sort of casual surrealism about Murray’s aphorisms, as if it was the most ordinary thing in the world to compare worry, for example, to a playground. The metaphors are both pedestrian and astonishing, reminiscent of aphorists like Malcom de Chazal and Ramon Gomez de la Serna. The deep strangeness of the images and juxtapositions takes a while to sink in, mostly because of Murray’s deadpan delivery. Reading his aphorisms is like talking on a phone with a slight delay; you understand what’s been said a beat or so after it has been spoken. And that split-second delay, filled with thoughts and speculation, is where the wonder lies, of aphorisms in general and these aphorisms in particular. The charm of Glimpse is that so many of the aphorisms in it make you do a double take.

 

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