Download The Long and Short of It: From Aphorism to Novel by Gary Saul Morson PDF

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By Gary Saul Morson

Brevity could be the soul of wit, however it can be even more. during this exploration of the shortest literary works—wise sayings, proverbs, witticisms, sardonic observations approximately human nature, pithy evocations of poser, terse statements concerning final questions—Gary Saul Morson argues passionately for the significance of those brief genres not just to students but additionally to normal readers.

We are excited about how short works evoke a strong experience of lifestyles in a couple of phrases, that's why we browse citation anthologies and like to repeat our favorites. Arguing that each one brief genres are brief of their personal manner, Morson explores the original kind of brevity that every of them develops. Apothegms (Heraclitus, Lao Tzu, Wittgenstein) describe the universe as eventually unknowable, supplying now not solutions yet ever deeper questions. Dicta (Spinoza, Marx, Freud) create the experience that unsolvable enigmas have ultimately been resolved. Sayings from sages and sacred texts guarantee us that goodness is rewarded, whereas sardonic maxims (Ecclesiastes, Nietzsche, George Eliot) discover the self-deceptions at the back of such comforting illusions. simply as witticisms demonstrate the ability of brain, "witlessisms" (William Spooner, Dan Quayle, the personality assumed via Mark Twain) astonish with their excellent stupidity.

Nothing turns out farther from those brief works than novels and epics, however the shortest genres usually set the tone for longer ones, which, in flip, include extraordinary examples of brief varieties. Morson exhibits that brief genres give a contribution vital insights into the background of literature and philosophical suggestion. after we seize the function of aphorisms in Herodotus, Samuel Johnson, Dostoevsky, or even Tolstoy, we see their masterpieces in a wholly new mild.

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Toutefois, il y eut, à proprement parler un mouvement surréaliste, dont la naissance coïncide, en gros, avec la fin de la première guerre mondiale, la mort avec le déclenchement de la deuxième ; vécu par des hommes s’exprimant par la poésie, la peinture, l’essai ou la conduite particulière de leur vie, en tant que succession de faits, il appartient à l’histoire, parce qu’il est une suite de manifestations dans le temps. C’est l’histoire de ce mouvement que nous avons tentée. Nullement pour le simple plaisir de nous plonger dans le passé, si 1.

Aucune fantaisie imaginative. Ce qui pourrait passer pour une délirante fiction, en voici l’explication, objective, rationnelle. En 1947, une année plus tard, c’est Les Jours de notre mort, un ouvrage, cette fois, de huit cents pages, en petits caractères, qui décrit l’univers des camps, ceux que David Rousset a traversés, tous les autres d’où lui sont venus maints témoignages, dans toute son ampleur, dans ses multiples ramifications, avec tous ses personnages et leurs destins particuliers, leurs souffrances et leurs luttes, un épouvantable drame collectif.

D’un assez beau saccage, à son but propre. )) Cette tâche fixée par Breton n’est pas présentement la nôtre. Nous nous sommes borné à raconter, à revivre des expériences qui ne resteront pas sans lendemain. Nous avons voulu les décrire, telles qu’elles se sont effectuées, avec le moins d’inexactitude possible. Car pour sa part, l’auteur n’a pas vécu du dedans la vie surréaliste, et son travail paraîtra incomplet et insuffisant à ceux qui en ont été les protagonistes. C’est inévitable. Mais si, bien qu’en 1.

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