Aphoristic Essays

Aphoristic Essays-60
I’m by no means alone in this impulse: the tradition of the commonplace book—a notebook of sorts filled with proverbs, aphorisms, maxims, and other ephemera—dates back centuries. Somewhere along the line, though, I started getting skeptical of aphorisms—perhaps when I realized what they really were.

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This was the age of AIM profiles, of defining yourself with a pithy, profound phrase, and I switched out my quotes on a near-daily basis.

I loved pulling what I saw as wisdom out of context—it was a comfort to have these nuggets of universal truth to turn to, to repeat like little incantations in my head. Lovecraft has kept a commonplace book; Grandpa Jack jotted down Latin phrases and bits of wisdom in a datebook from the insurance company he worked for.

Take the underlying concept of a common aphorism and try to come up with a new metaphor for it.

Try to capture the basic wisdom behind the aphorism and clothe it in new imagery.

(Which no writer can claim unless people are still reading their work 1,800 years from now!

) A good aphorism can work well in creative writing if you want to show how wise and concise a certain character is.

I had developed a habit of squirelling away quotes from books and songs and movies, scribbling them in notebooks and on the front of my school binders.

I was particularly enamored with lines from the movie (“All morons hate it when you call them a moron”).

Aphorisms "Aphorism - a brief statement of truth." This is the dictionary definition of an aphorism.

I see an aphorism as a quote that you can relate to personally. But is an aphorism always a fact, or is it sometimes an opinion too?


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