Aphorisms and Diplomacy with James Geary

Event offered by:
Foreign Policy Association

Event Details

Wednesday, October 10, 2007
5:30 PM - 8:00 PM 
Grupo Santander
45 East 53rd Street (Between Park & Madison Ave)
New York, NY
Event type
Lecture / Panel  

Event Transcripts and Video

James Geary addresses the Foreign Policy Association in the Lester S. Morse, Jr. Lecture "A riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma," Aphorisms and Diplomacy.

Speaker: James Geary, Author of "Geary's guide to the World's Great Aphorists," and "The World in a Phrase: A Brief History of Aphorism."

Event Speakers

    • James Geary - Speaker

      James Geary is the former editor of TIME Magazine Europe, as well as the creator of the award-winning Time Europe website. Following the success of his New York Times bestseller The World in a Phrase, aphorist Geary offers an enlightening and entertaining guide to some 350 ingenious writers, artists and thinkers, including thousands of their wittiest and most profound words of wisdom.


      James Geary has been obsessed by aphorisms since he was eight years old. In Geary's Guide, he has assembled a collection of the greatest aphorists in the world. The book stretches back to the beginnings of the aphorism in the wisdom traditions of ancient Egypt and China, and it reaches right into the present day by featuring the contemporary writers and artists currently engaged in a revival of the form. Some of these aphorists appear here in English for the first time.


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

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