The Art of Worldly Wisdom is a book written in by Baltasar Gracián y Morales, better known as Baltasar Gracian. It is a collection of maxims, each with. The Art of Worldly Wisdom has ratings and reviews. 7jane said: This book wasn’t quite what I expected, yet it was still a good experience. If y. 74 quotes from The Art of Worldly Wisdom: ‘Never open the door to a lesser evil, for other and greater ones invariably slink in after it.’.
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Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. The remarkable best-seller — a long-lost, year-old book of wisdom on wisdo, to live successfully yet responsibly in a society governed by self-interest — as acute as Machiavelli yet as humanistic and scrupulously moral as Marcus Aurelius.
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To ask other readers questions about The Art of Worldly Wisdomplease sign up. Be the first to ask a question about The Art of Worldly Wisdom. Lists with This Book. This book wasn’t quite what I expected, yet it was still a good experience. There’s is also some certainty that the author read “The Prince” since it came out earlier than this book, which came out in ; the fact that the author of this present book was a Jesuit no doubt helped, since I do know Jesuits have been This book wasn’t quite what I expected, yet it was still a good experience.
There’s is also some certainty that the author read “The Prince” since it came out earlier than this book, which came out in ; the fact that the author of this present book was a Jesuit no doubt helped, since I do know Jesuits have been thought of as cunning, both in positive and negative sense.
The gtacian hints at the size of the first printing of this books – pocket-fitting and densely printed sometimes hard to read because of this. It is for the 17th Century Baroque Spanish upper society, Spain being then in decline, away from being balhasar world power, with France and Rococo soon taking their place.
Some of the text clearly shows that certain aphorisms can be grouped together, and some themes do pop up again as one keeps reading. The style is laconic, which I like since it keeps the message clearly floating.
The Art of Worldly Wisdom
Translation keeps out most world-play and puns, since they don’t translate well. The author stresses the importance of taking ever-changing circumstances into account, as aphrosim’s tips may not apply on every occasion. In everything, though, prudence is the main key that keep one afloat in the changes and risks of the society. There is more value in difficulty than easy – there is challenge this way. Disillusion is sometimes good, it helps in looking behind appearances, where danger and opportunities may hide.
One has to realise that others are playing the game, too. There were a few standout aphorisms for me: Sometimes making me think of the state of the world now, how to know when to fold ’em, not to hold to opinions too stubbornly, remember to already live and not leave living to old age, and the “act as though always on view” sounds interesting.
The last aphorism gives the whole lot a nice twist; it might make you read the text again, which may not be hard work since the book is quite slim: The book is quite easy to read, even if you don’t really notice that Christianity still sort of flows underground in the text, most of the time A suprisingly good book, with something for everyone, even when not living like they once did.
Sep 19, Elisa Garcia rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Aug 25, Justarius rated it it was amazing Shelves: Self-help books can be helpful, but they are usually focused on what to do after you have encountered certain problems.
It is a manual on how to be successful at anything in life. Considering that it is still amazing relevant today despite being first published init is a classic masterpiece.
Certainly there have been grscian books in the same genre, but I have yet to find another one as penetrating and objective. Also, The Art of Worldly Wisdom contains only aphorisms, considerably less than the Maxims while packing the same amount of substance or more. Other notable thinkers have been influenced by The Art of Worldly Wisdom.
I wish that I had many years ago. Perhaps I could have done things better, or perhaps I could have learned some lessons less painfully. In either case, it could only have helped!
Nalthasar have friends arh read The Prince like a bible, and its true that Machiavelli is worthy of repeated study, both as a period piece and window into the Renaissance Italian soul, and as possibly the graacian notorious treatise on Realpolitik ever written. Machiavelli, like Nietzsche, has been misused by the unscrupulous and balthaxar by the ignorant; also, IMHO, both thee were actually better historians and analysts than they were philosophers per se. Baltasar Gracian, in the Pocket Oracle, has accomp I have friends who read The Prince like a bible, and its true that Machiavelli is worthy of repeated study, both as a period piece and window into the Renaissance Italian soul, and as possibly the most notorious treatise on Realpolitik ever written.
Baltasar Gracian, in the Pocket Oracle, has accomplished what Niccolo never could, nor gracoan have wanted to: The lessons are pithy and epigrammatic, both simple yet deserving of deep reflection and consideration and, most importantly, are eminently USEFUL in almost every woorldly interaction in your day to day life, whether you are a dish washer or a senator — his teachings are that universal.
Robert Greene strip-mined Gracian for 48 Laws of Power, but again IMHO, it’s always best to refer back to the seminal source even after being presented with as good a digest as Greene presented. This is the Penguin edition, so you of course have the value added of their wonderful introductions, with historical references anchoring Gracian’s life and the impact of the Oracle itself.
Also, this translation is, I feel, much better than those I’ve seen marketed under the variant title Art of Worldly Wisdom. I read this book everyday. I recommend it to every man woman or child that wants to live their very best.
Gracian was one of the wisest men who ever lived, and this is the free distillation of his wisdom. Jun 22, Kimber rated it it was amazing Shelves: Astonishing how true Garcian’s aphorisms remain hundreds of years later and how much the culture of Spain at the time seems so modern A work to study and be studied again and again.
This is timeless in its wisdom–I would add I don’t agree with everything he says and that although he can be spiritual at times, this is a guide of “Worldly Wisdom” and something that as a Jesuit priest he was sometimes condemned for this worldlyness Much on the same level of “Art of War” by Sun Tzu.
Feb 07, Mohammad rated it it was amazing. View all 5 comments. Jul 23, Sarah Ansani rated it it was ok Shelves: I’m a little surprised by some ratings of this book.
I understand that this isn’t a book that you exactly “critique” because it’s a renown oracle from the 17th century. A lot of the advice gears toward deception, vanity, and greed: You will shield yourself fro I’m a little surprised by some ratings of this book. You will shield yourself from malevolence: Having someone else take the blame for failure and be the butt of gossip does not spring from a lack of ability, as malice thinks, but from superior skill. Not everything can turn out well, and you can’t please everyone.
So look for a scapegoat, someone whose own ambition will make him a good target. And a wise person understands that mistakes are made and that they, themselves, are not perfect. I’d rather be wary of a person who would put blame on me rather than be the blamer.
Things do not pass for what they are, but for what they seem. To excel and to know how to show it is to excel twice. What is invisible might as well not exist.
The Art of Worldly Wisdom Index
Reason itself is not venerated when it does not wear a reasonable face. Those easily duped outnumber the prudent. Deceit reigns, and things are judged from without, and are seldom what they seem. A fine exterior is the best recommendation of inner perfection. And the focus is merely on aesthetic rather than essence. Seem this way, even if you’re not that way.
This oracle is street-wise and takes the definition of “wisdom” to a place that seems wise, but in essence, is not very “virtuous” in my opinion. Also, understand that this has been translated by many different people. I own Martin Fischer’s translation and when I opened it up to read it, it made no sense to me grammatically or syntactically.
Martin Fischer, I presume, is a literalist translator, for Gracian did have that difficult-to-understand writing style where sentences were incomplete and there was a severe lack in verbs.
So, if you want to get someone’s more understandable translation, Christopher Maurer is the translator you want.
View all 3 comments. Aug 24, Nick rated it it was amazing. This is one of the great books of wisdom, dispensed in brief paragraphs with headings like “better to be intensive than extensive,” and “reserve is the seal of talent. You need to be ready for it to throw something unfair, unexpected, or unpleasant back at you.
It’s perhaps comforting to know that the book was written years ago, a This is one of the great wwisdom of wisdom, dispensed in brief paragraphs with headings like “better to balthsar intensive than extensive,” and “reserve is the seal of talent. It’s perhaps comforting to know that the book was written years ago, and the world is still pretty much the same now as it was then.
Others argue the opposite. Well-spent leisure is worth more than work. We have nothing of our own but time. Gracian’s Art of Worldly Wisdom is a collection of maxims containing excellent, practical advice; very Senecan, and, at times, Machiavellian in sentiment but much more “Know a little more and live a little less. Gracian’s Art of Worldly Wisdom is a collection of maxims containing baltthasar, practical advice; very Senecan, and, at times, Machiavellian in sentiment but much more applicable than The Prince.
Personally, I noted around 50 which I would consider essential to read in their entirety, as well as many, many more containing nuggets of gold; for a collection ofthere is an impressive amount of quality. We are born to know and to know ourselves, and books reliably turn us into people.