This anthology demonstrates to the full just how rewarding an art form the aphorism can be, and just how brilliantly the aphorist can illuminate the hidden truth, or lay bare the ironies of existence. Specific sections including 'Religion', 'Money & Rank', 'Men, Women, Marriage' and 'Politics', cover the whole range of aphoristic literature. This book brings together the most diverse figures-the classic aphorists, like La Rochefoucauld; the philosophers, from the Greeks to Samuel Johnson to Virginia Woolf-as well as statesmen, scientists, boulevardiers, Olympians, and gadflies. John Gross draws on their wisdom and wit to produce an anthology that will be referred to time and time again.
John Gross was editor of the Times Literary Supplement from 1974 to 1981 and on the staff of the New York Times from 1983 to 1988. He has been theatre critic of the Sunday Telegraph since 1989 and is the editor of other Oxford anthologies and After Shakespeare: An Anthology, published this year to rave reviews.
Introduction ; Aphorists & Aphorisms I ; Nature ; Mankind ; Life ; Desires & Longings ; Fears, Hopes, Passions ; Design and Chance ; Individuals ; The Sense of Identity ; Self-Love ; Self-Knowledge ; Self-Doubt ; One Among Many ; Fame & Reputation ; The Arts of Success ; Action & Achievement ; Money & Rank ; The Social Fabric ; Love, Jealousy, Libido ; Happiness & Sorrow ; Good & Evil ; etc