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The Viking Book of Aphorisms Paperback – November 19, 1981

4.4 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 431 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books (November 19, 1981)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140059660
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140059663
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1 x 5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,438,237 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
The quotes and aphorisms in the Viking Book of Aphorisms are book are well-chosen and brilliant. It's a great book to leave on a table somewhere, so you and guests can open it to a random page, read a few quotations, and then put it down. Sometimes it's hard to put down! I own a few other quotation and aphorism books, and I was happy to see that this one is filled with quotations that I hadn't seen in other collections. Unfortunately, this one does not list the works from which the quotations are sourced - it only lists the writers' last names!

If you don't already own any aphorism books, a better choice is the Oxford Book of Aphorisms. Or, for those with cynical minds, The Cassell Dictionary Of Cynical Quotations. These two list most of the source works, too.
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Format: Paperback
THE VIKING BOOK OF APHORISMS is the gift that keeps on giving. Cleverly compiled by the famous poet W.H. Auden and the editor Louis Kronenberger, it features the wisdom of many of Western Civilization's greatest and most quotable men, including Nietzsche, Kant, Schiller, St. Augustine, Goethe, Blake, Bacon, Halifax, Valérey, Kierkergaard, Schopenhauer, Emerson, Pascal, Chesterton, Kant, Disraeli, Chekov, Freud, Proust, Huxley,Tocqueville, Voltaire, Seneca, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jane Austen, Samuel Butler and Mark Twain -- to name a few.

An aphorism is defined by the editors as as assertion which is held by the person who utters it to be universally true, so it's fair to say that a book of aphorisms is essentially a massive heap of advice and observation. Much of it is funny, some of it rather grim, and a lot of it sarcastic and cynical (such as Gracian's advice that "a beautiful woman should break her mirror early") but it's safe to say the opinions of the people quoted are not always in agreement either in terms of sentiment or in outlook. There are far too many great lines to quote, but a few of the winners would include: "The knowledge of God is very far from the love of Him." (Pascal), "Injustice is relatively easy to bear; it's justice that hurts." (Mencken) "Nobody ever forgets where he buried the hatchet." (Kin Hubbard). "As a general rule, nobody has money who ought to have it." (Disraeli) "Fanaticism consists of redoubling your effort when you have forgotten your aim." (Santayana) "Fine minds seldom make fine souls." (Richter) And "How good bad music and and bad reasons sound when we march against an enemy.
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Format: Paperback
If the mention of Bartlett's Quotations makes you think of Roget's Thesaurus, this volume could well prove to be an unexpectedly entertaining antidote. Among the bons mots collected within are words of piquant wit and bracing brevity, many mined from less familiar sources. Romanian writer E. M. Cioran, for example: "A philosophical fashion catches on like a gastronomical fashion: one can no more refute an idea than a sauce." Admittedly, I was pleased to see a number of entries attributed to French cultural icon and a personal favorite of mine, Paul Valery ("Consciousness reigns but doesn't govern."). You're sure to be edified and delighted by the quips here, so be prepared for the pleasurable addiction of dipping in whenever you need a brain snack.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have several books of Aphorisms, but this is the best compilation I own. It is one of my favorite books. The subject matters include Humanity, Religion and God, Nature, Education, Society, The Sexes, Love-Marriage-Friendship, The Professions, History, Action, Science, The Arts, States and Government, The Life of the Mind, Life's Minor Pleasures and Trials, and Aces of Man. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a thoughtful compilation.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Old book that my friend thought was out of print. It will give you pearls of wisdom every day! Funny, cynical, wise, outlandish, really a mix of everything!
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