Oxymoronica: Paradoxical Wit & Wisdom From History’s Greatest Wordsmiths, is quite possibly the most fun in book form that I’ve had all year.
Oxymoronica is a term created by the author, combining:
Erotica. Literature or art that is intended to arouse sexual desire.
Exotica. Things that are curiously unusual or excitingly strange.
with the word oxymoron:
In ancient Greek oxus means “sharp or pointed” and moros means “dull, stupid, or foolish.” So oxymoron is itself an oxymoron, literally meaning ” a sharp dullness” or “pointed foolishness.”….The best examples of oxymoronica don’t contain a simple contradiction in terms; they contain what might be described as a contradiction of ideas.
I’m sorry, but if you did not find that passage extremely sexy, perhaps this is not the blog for you. To me, the proclaimed uber-booknerd, lover of the clever turn of phrase, this book borders on word porn. (I so hope that last sentence does not provoke all sorts of vulgar Google ads. Please tell me if it did.)
Like my beloved Thoreau, Dr. Grothe has written a book to be savored in small bites, so I’m just offered up an appetizer tray of quotes this morning. Bon appetit!
Architecture is frozen music.
Tragedy is if I cut my finger.
Comedy is if I walk into an open sewer and die.
We think about sex obsessively except during the act,
when our minds tend to wander.
Criticism is always a kind of compliment.
Loneliness is now so widespread it has become, paradoxically, a shared experience.
There will come a time when you believe everything is finished.
That will be the beginning.