THE LOST ART OF LOSING by
Number of pages: 96
Dimensions: 14.6 x 10.4 x 0.7 cm
The Lost Art of Losing is a collection of aphorisms by award-winning novelist Gregory Norminton. By turns comic and despairing, jubilant and wry, they present, through fragments, a picture of the mind – and of troubling times.
Gregory Norminton transforms the aphorism into something more accessible and personal. Ultimately he uses aphorisms to question everything - including the aphorism itself: ‘Incessantly we ask the meaning of life to protect us from hearing the perfectly obvious answer.’ In The Lost Art of Losing, the author analyses the process and the hubris of literary invention, and is brutal in revealing its limitations: ‘No revelation sparkles brighter than the one scribbled down from sleep, nor looks duller when revisited by the light of day. What we dream is the image of meaning. The object eludes.’ These aphorisms explore the complex relationship between the self and wider society: ‘To fear the ill-opinion of others is grossly to overestimate the space we take up in their imagination.’ Norminton understands that an aphorism relies on the elegance of its thought: ‘Some birds beat the air as if it were a foe meaning to drag them down. Others seem only to flap their wings in order to keep us from getting suspicious.’
“It is – at its best, and most useful – a little book of unease. Were one to eat it, the result would be an uncomfortable feeling of mild indigestion. After all, human beings – I forgot who said this – will do almost anything to avoid thinking: and aphorisms, more than any branch of literature, force us to do just that. No wonder they are out of fashion.” – The Guardian
“Dark insights into the human condition glitter around the edges of these aphorisms, but he clearly feels that few truths are so bleak that they don’t also deserve a laugh.” – James Geary
“Gregory Norminton has given way to a dangerous urge to aphorise but shapes his little pieces remarkably well. Some are witty, some provocative, some self-revelatory and touching to reach. A companionable little volume that brings fresh life to a venerable form.” – Andrew Miller, author of Pure, winner of the 2011 Costa Prize