James Geary

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James Geary

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James Geary 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. He 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.

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James Geary I follow Paul Valery's observation that inspiration is "the act of drawing the chair up to the work table."
James Geary Sadly, inspiration has nothing to do with the way I write. (See my answer to the 'how to deal with writer's block' question.) If stuck, though, it's o…moreSadly, inspiration has nothing to do with the way I write. (See my answer to the 'how to deal with writer's block' question.) If stuck, though, it's often helpful to do something else for a while, like the dishes or go for a run. That gives the unconscious a little more room to roam and send back ideas...(less)
Average rating: 3.74 · 1,144 ratings · 186 reviews · 6 distinct worksSimilar authors
I is an Other: The Secret L...

3.87 avg rating — 631 ratings — published 2011 — 4 editions
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Wit's End: What Wit Is, How...

3.31 avg rating — 224 ratings — published 2018 — 6 editions
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The World in a Phrase: A Br...

3.68 avg rating — 195 ratings — published 2005 — 10 editions
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Geary's Guide to the World'...

4.05 avg rating — 77 ratings5 editions
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The Body Electric: An Anato...

3.14 avg rating — 7 ratings — published 2002 — 3 editions
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Corrupted into Song: The Co...

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More books by James Geary…

Wit’s End World* Tour

The Wit’s End World* Tour is winding down, but here’s a little visual retrospective of the places I’ve been and the people I’ve met. My thanks to all the booksellers, bookshops, festivals, and organizers of these events—and especially to everyone who turned out to talk about wit.


(* By ‘World’, of course I mean the United States of America…)


I’ll be adding new dates to the Events section of my homep

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Published on December 07, 2019 12:58

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Apricots Tomorrow and other Arabic Proverbs with English Equi... by Primrose Arnander
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The Son of a Duck Is a Floater by Primrose Arnander
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The Essential Dogen by Dōgen
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The Conception of Buddhist Nirvana by Theodore Stcherbatsky
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The Root Stanzas of the Middle Way by Nāgārjuna
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Nagarjuna's Letter To A Friend by Nāgārjuna
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Nagarjuna's Seventy Stanzas by David Ross Komito
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The Book of Disquiet by Fernando Pessoa
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The Lord Chandos Letter by Hugo von Hofmannsthal
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After Nature by W.G. Sebald
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More of James's books…
“You only really discover the strength of your spine when your back is against the wall.”
James Geary

“For life is short and the art of writing books is very, very long.”
James Geary

“These experiments demonstrate the conceptual synesthesia connecting our ideas of the concrete experience of space and the abstract experience of time. Our concept of physical motion through space is scaffolded onto our concept of chronological motion through time. Experiencing one-indeed, merely thinking about one-influences our experience of and thoughts about the other, just as the theory of embodied cognition suggests.”
James Geary, I is an Other: The Secret Life of Metaphor and How it Shapes the Way We See the World

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