Wit's End: What Wit Is, How It Works, and Why We Need It

W. W. Norton & Company
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"A witty book about wit that steers an elegant path between waggishness and wisdom." —Stephen Fry

Much more than a knack for snappy comebacks, wit is the quick, instinctive intelligence that allows us to think, say, or do the right thing at the right time in the right place. In this whimsical book, James Geary explores every facet of wittiness, from its role in innovation to why puns are the highest form of wit. Geary reasons that wit is both visual and verbal, physical and intellectual: there’s the serendipitous wit of scientists, the crafty wit of inventors, the optical wit of artists, and the metaphysical wit of philosophers.

In Wit’s End, Geary embraces wit in every form by adopting a different style for each chapter; he writes the section on verbal repartee as a dramatic dialogue, the neuroscience of wit as a scientific paper, the spirituality of wit as a sermon, and other chapters in jive, rap, and the heroic couplets of Alexander Pope. Wit’s End agilely balances psychology, folktales, visual art, and literary history with lighthearted humor and acute insight, drawing upon traditions of wit from around the world.

Entertaining, illuminating, and entirely unique, Wit’s End demonstrates that wit and wisdom are really the same thing.

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About the author

James Geary is the author of four previous books, including the New York Times bestseller The World in a Phrase, and is the deputy curator at Harvard University’s Nieman Foundation for Journalism. A sought-after speaker and avid juggler, he lives near Boston, Massachusetts.

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Additional Information

Publisher
W. W. Norton & Company
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Published on
Nov 13, 2018
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Pages
128
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ISBN
9780393254952
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Humor / Form / Puns & Wordplay
Humor / Topic / History
Language Arts & Disciplines / Rhetoric
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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