FragLit

an online magazine of fragmentary writing

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Haunting Memories

Fall 2009 :: Current Issue

2009 :: Issue 5/Fall :: Haunting Memories

FragNotes: On Aphorisms

Bill Chapko

An aphorism can be a thought, a joke, a bit of free verse, a loose haiku, an image, a glance, a paradox, an observation—almost anything, as long as it’s short.

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Aphorisms are not building blocks but sparks of personal inspiration and insight. An aphorism stands by itself, despite its possible links to other thoughts. It is not part of a structural whole.

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An aphorism is a tickler of the subconscious.

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Aphorisms play with and on words.

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Almost any aphorism can inspire a lively conversation, but an aphorism reverberates better in a silent spirit.

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An aphorism can be illogical or paradoxical.

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You don’t have to “work” on aphorisms; you catch a brightly colored butterfly that is passing by.

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Aphorisms attack foundations.

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Aphorisms are often playful.

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Aphorisms can be gentle musings…the mood changes…

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Being short and self-contained, an aphorism releases the reader quickly. It does not create a mental or emotional world for the reader to live in. This distinguishes it from almost all other forms of literature.

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Aphorisms: animals to ride for a while.

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Aphorisms are non-commercial. They are gifts from your spirit to yourself and possibly others. They require very little work, only good ears. Selling them will corrupt you and them.

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Aphorisms will often sound foolish in order to ring true.

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Seemingly chaotic, coming out of nowhere, aphorisms are more in tune with nature than any system of thought.

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Aphorisms speak for themselves, by themselves.

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To get to the center of a matter, all you need is an aphorism.

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Aphorisms are not there to convince but to point.

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An aphorist seeks inspiration from the events and moods of the day…as if they were destined for him.

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Logical systems crumble within the heart and the aphorism as art is born.

 

Bill Chapko is the originator of the idea of the “luccaph,” a lifelong uncategorized computer-aided collection of aphorisms. Further information can be found at his non-commercial website, www.aphorist.info.

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