Sunday, December 9, 2007

Faina Ranevskaya and Geary's Guide

"A man must swallow a toad every morning if he wishes to be sure of finding nothing still more disgusting before the day is over."
Chamfort's line can be found in Geary's Guide to the World's Great Aphorists, recently published by Bloomsbury USA. James Geary, writer and editor, has been at the aphoristic fount before, in The World in a Phrase: A Brief History of the Aphorism (Bloomsbury, 2005). Rich in surprises, that marvelous book opened the possibilities for the more comprehensive Guide. Many of the aphorists in the new book will be known to everyone: Plato and Cicero, Michel de Montaigne, Dr. Johnson, Ben Franklin, Mark Twain, Wilde, and so forth. But the real pleasures lie in the volume's unexpected treasures: Chamfort, Ludwig Marcuse, Karol Bunsch, Faina Ranevskaya, Ali Ibn Abi Talib, Benjamin Whichcote, and countless others. ( via Cronicle)

"Success is the only unforgivable sin against your neighbor."
"Optimism is lack of information."
"My fortune is in the fact that I don't need it."
"I've been smart enough to have lived my life stupidly."
"A real man is one who remembers a lady's birthday, but never knows how old she is. A man who never remembers her birthday, but knows exactly how old she is, - is her husband."
"Family can replace everything. So, before starting a family, one should think what's more important: family or everything."
"Aleshenka (a boy's name), when you get married you'll understand what happiness is. But it will be too late."
"It has always been incomprehensible for me: people are ashamed of poverty but aren't ashamed of wealth."
"The Doorbell doesn't work, when you come, knock the door with feet. - Why feet?! - I hope you won't come to me empty-handed!"

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