Wit's End
“A witty book about wit that steers an elegant path between waggishness and wisdom.”—Stephen FryIn 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, 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. Demonstrating that brevity really is the soul of wit, Geary crafts each chapter from concise sections of 200, 400, or 800 words. Entertaining, illuminating, and entirely unique, Wit’s End shows how wit is much more than a sense of humor.

Wit's End Details

TitleWit's End
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseNov 13th, 2018
PublisherW. W. Norton Company
ISBN-139780393254945
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Psychology, Contemporary

Wit's End Review

  • Andrienne
    January 1, 1970
    Each chapter offers the delight of what wit can do. It’s a brilliant way of showing how wit works rather than merely describe it. Thanks to the publisher for access to the advance reading copy.
  • Michael G
    January 1, 1970
    Geary puts wit on the spit. Well done.
  • Mich
    January 1, 1970
    James Geary extols all aspects of wit. Starting with puns, then repartee in conversations, jokes, scientific evaluations of brain images associated with wit, visual wit in art (troupe d’oeil), historical, literary, folk tales, biblical and Talmudic references are dissected in a (what else?) witty way. Each chapter is presented in a different style and sometimes font so one can be in dialogue, another in verse, then spiritual sermon, neuroscience in a scientific paper, and jive and rap.It’s quite James Geary extols all aspects of wit. Starting with puns, then repartee in conversations, jokes, scientific evaluations of brain images associated with wit, visual wit in art (troupe d’oeil), historical, literary, folk tales, biblical and Talmudic references are dissected in a (what else?) witty way. Each chapter is presented in a different style and sometimes font so one can be in dialogue, another in verse, then spiritual sermon, neuroscience in a scientific paper, and jive and rap.It’s quite entertaining and for those of us who love wit,it’s the affirmation of our favorite way of thinking and expressing ourselves.
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  • Ivan Mitrovic
    January 1, 1970
    Not much more than a wit classification book, with chapters devoted to pun, metaphor, jive... and examples. I was hoping for “instructions” on how to train your wit. Found one useful thing though. The book mentioned RAT (Remote Associations Test) which I think is very useful for kids. We played RAT competitions (guess the 4th associative phrase given 3) on a few nights and kids loved them.
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  • Trudy
    January 1, 1970
    Geary's Wit's End is not strictly a humor book, though there is plenty of humor within it. In portions of the book he explores how we think and what wit is (and is not) on a historical and even a neurological level. Extensive notes, bibliography, and index are included for those who wish to delve into this subject more deeply.
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  • Ivor Armistead
    January 1, 1970
    Wit. Amusing, a bit.
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