We are surrounded by words – we say them, write them, think them, read them, print them, sculpt and paint them, we use and abuse them and some of us, (although I don’t quite know why), eat them in the form of soup, biscuits and cake. We are so immersed in words that there are websites devoted to famous quotes and proverbs about them! The site https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/words.html is just one example.
Despite this, there are many times I find myself without a skerrick…
If quotations are what you seek, the 080s is where you are most likely to find books devoted to the topic – in every language.
Daily mindfulness : 365 days of present, calm, exquisite living
is part of the recent collection of works devoted to the exploration of self-actualization, and presents daily quotations to let one pause and reflect on the moment at hand. The premise underpinning this title is that being more ‘in the moment’ calms the mind and ultimately leads to a richer, fuller life. A book for people seeking encouragement to ‘stop and smell the roses’.
If discouragement is on the agenda, then Scorn : the wittiest and wickedest insults in human history by Matthew Parris might prove more appropriate. A quirky collection of repartee, quotes span the ages from ancient Egypt to Twitter. Organised in a way to simulate disparate voices conversing, the book explores ‘the feelings and ideas which links human expressions of scorn …in a verbal sport’ (from the Introduction). Those quoted include Donald Trump, Groucho Marx, Winston Churchill and Mae West, demonstrating that abuse can be an art both figurative and evocative… enough to ‘tickle’ the ‘mad mustachio purple-hued maltworms’. You can have a sneak peak here: http://www.booktopia.com.au/scorn-matthew-parris/prod9781781257296.html
If on the other hand, spreading happiness is more to your liking, The Bhutanese guide to happiness : words of wisdom from the world’s happiest nation by Gyonpo Tshering, edited by Margaret Gee
may be worth a look. The Bhutanese are renown for measuring their nation’s wealth in gross national happiness. This book is a collection of quotes, phrases, proverbs and philosophies that underpin and demonstrate its people’s approach to achieving national wealth. There are some wonderful insights into alternative stances to modern-world concerns – Showing your age? ‘You don t have to smile if you are pleased, nor do you have to frown if you are displeased. People who do this don’t get so many wrinkles!’
If your tastes move toward the eclectic and the clever use of words is of interest, then Jane Austen is certainly worth a revisit. Jane Austen: Illustrated Quotations is a great place to start. Well known for her novels depicting the dilemmas of very modern women (which manage to remain relevant to this day), Jane Austen was also a prolific writer of letters and commentary on a wide range of subjects. As well as highlighting the many quotable commentaries from her novels, this book also celebrates, in words and pictures, the many observations she made in her lesser known writings. She will challenge your understanding of words!
…Which brings us back to words.
If words are your thing and you wish to celebrate words with like-minded people, why not check out this year’s Adelaide Plains Festival of Words 28-30th July 2017. The Festival includes workshops for budding writers and publishing hopefuls, shared spoken and written word experiences and links to local writing opportunities including the Gawler Short Story Competition. You can find the complete program here:
…that is of course if you choose to be surrounded by words.