The aphorism captures a huge amount of truth, meaning or wit in a very short statement. It has been used and studied from classical times to contemporary theory and takes on a new relevance when we look at today's communication media such as text messages and twitter. This concise guide offers an overview of: * The history of the aphorism to the present day * Its relation to other short forms, including the fragment, the proverb, the maxim, the haiku, the epigram and the quotation * The use of the aphorism by authors such as Heraclitus, Bacon, La Rochefoucauld, Chuang Tzu, Blake, Schlegel, Emerson, Nietzsche, Wilde, Woolf and Barthes * The interdisciplinary nature of the aphorism, bringing together science, philosophy, literature and religion Exploring all the key aspects of the form, Ben Grant guides readers through this large and lively area in a wide-ranging and critically informed study of the aphorism.
Ben Grant teaches English Literature at the University of Kent, UK. He is the author of Postcolonialism, Psychoanalysis and Burton: Power Play of Empire (Routledge, 2009).