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Monday, August 30, 2021

Aphorism – Literary terms

The Aphorism, Literary terms

Aphorism – Literary terms

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A terse statement of a principle or truth, usually an observation about life; a maxim. Aphorisms can be witty as well as insightful, as this aphorism by George Eliot demonstrates: "The happiest women, like the happiest nations, have no history." Hippocrates, who first used the term in his Aphorisms, provides perhaps the most famous example:

Life is short, art is long, opportunity fleeting,

experimenting dangerous, reasoning difficult.


The essays of Francis Bacon are known for their aphoristic style. In “Of Studies" he writes:

Reading maketh a full man;

conference (conversation) a ready man;

and writing an exact man.



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