The Fall at Home
The best of Paterson’s ‘clever, addictive and funny’ aphorisms – now in paperback.
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Aphorisms have been described as ‘the obscure hinterland between poetry and prose’ (New Yorker) – short pithy statements that capture the essence of the human condition in all its shades.
In this New and Selected, master of the form Don Paterson brings the best examples from his two previous volumes together with ingenious new material relevant to today’s world. Moving and mischievous, canny and profound – these wide-ranging observations of no more than one or two lines demonstrate that the aphorism is the perfect form for our times.
Consciousness is the turn the universe makes to hasten its own end.
Agnosticism is indulged only by those who have never suffered belief.
Poet: someone in the aphorism business for the money.
A hugely enjoyable collection… It takes a degree of chutzpah to pen a single aphorism, let alone a collection. It’s a form that presupposes the author’s wisdom and his right to bestow it. In the wrong hands an aphorism can either feel hectoring and judgmental or bloodless and obvious. The Fall at Home offers the reader a bracing combination of the profound, the comic and the often hilariously self-revealing… If Cioran — nihilistic, rancorous, austere — was the great aphorist of the 20th century, Paterson may be his sunnier 21st-century reincarnation.
‘Paterson is wry, sardonic and sceptical; in the same lineage as writers such as Emil Cioran, Karl Kraus and Friedrich Nietzsche… There is a Calvinist haar over much of The Fall at Home, with the humour as a bitter spike lacing it... At its best, and most of it is very good indeed, it becomes both sly and profound.’
Amidst sardonic observations and a few good jokes, we find musings of a philosophical or spiritual nature, reflections on ageing, the thoughts that pass through a writer's mind as they're working... this swirling stew of spontaneous thoughts offers an unguarded view of the workings of Paterson's brain in all its complex glory, laying bare the flashes of insight, whims, heresies and the conflicting and contradictory sides of his nature that are just as authentically him as any carefully-honed sonnet.
Paterson’s deliciously dour nuggets of bitter wisdom are precise and grimly hilarious.
Having single-handedly revived the aphorism, Don Paterson has been growing this superfine gritty collection for over a decade.
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