James Geary: Juggling Aphorisms

 

“I first started writing aphorisms in the early 1980s, when I was about 20. I practice the “spontaneous combustion” method of composition; that is, the aphorisms spontaneously occur in longer stretches of text.

“This is in contrast to the ‘deliberate composition’ method, whereby an author deliberately sits down to write aphorisms and consciously works on individual lines to that end.

“Once an aphorism appears, I do revise and rework it, if necessary. But most of my aphorisms emerge pretty much complete and intact.” – James Geary

James Geary is the deputy curator of the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard, editor of Nieman Reports, and former editor of the European edition of Time magazine. He is the author of Wit’s End: What Wit Is, How It Works, and Why We Need It, I Is an Other: The Secret Life of Metaphor and How It Shapes the Way We See the World, Geary’s Guide to the World’s Great Aphorists, the New York Times bestseller The World in a Phrase: A Brief History of the Aphorism, and The Body Electric: An Anatomy of The New Bionic Senses.

Thursday, October 3, 5:15 p.m. Shambaugh Auditorium, Main Library, 125 West Washington Street, Iowa City, IA 52242