Wit's end : what wit is, how it works, and why we need it / James Geary.

"A witty book about wit that steers an elegant path between waggishness and wisdom."--Stephen Fry. In this whimsical book, James Geary explores every facet of wittiness, from its role in innovation to why puns demonstrate the essence of creativity. Geary reasons that wit is both visual and verbal, p...

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Main Author: Geary, James, 1962-
Published: New York : W.W. Norton & Company, [2019]
Edition: First edition.
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Review by Booklist Review

*Starred Review* Upon entering a restaurant and seeing a former spouse, Groucho Marx quipped, Marx spots the ex. In Groucho's spontaneous inversion of a trite phrase, Geary discerns a manifestation of wit as a mental power that breaks through sterile habits of thought, so opening up new imaginative horizons. Though readers might expect wit in a comedian, Geary recognizes wit as an intellectual force that does far more than amuse. As the capacity to fruitfully fuse radically different ideas, wit guides visual artists, scientists, philosophers, dramatists, and priests. Geary indeed underscores the versatility of wit by casting his chapters in various genres one, for instance, in the heroic couplets of neoclassical poetry; another in the sober reflections of a sermon; another in the scintillating dialogue of a satiric play; yet another in the rigorous logic of a scientific article. Readers roaring with laughter at outrageous puns one moment find themselves carefully assessing psychological studies the next, only to then spin into the wild linguistic creativity of jive. Geary's own puckish style mischievous and unpredictable itself sparkles with wit as it provides the thread stringing together these variegated beads, all strikingly different, yet all remarkably similar in illuminating how wit exposes hidden truths, awakens dormant capacities. An exhilarating romp, entertaining and enlightening.--Bryce Christensen Copyright 2018 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.