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Book Title: The Art of Worldly Wisdom|
The author of the book: Baltasar Gracián
Edition: Crown Business
The size of the: 684 KB
City - Country: No data
Date of issue: December 1st 1991
ISBN 13: 9780385421317
Format files: PDF
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Reader ratings: 4.6
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The Art of Worldly Wisdom by Baltasar Gracián is unlike any book you are likely to find on bookshelves today. Self-help books can be helpful, but they are usually focused on what to do after you have encountered certain problems. Business books are often a collection of case studies or “war stories.” The Art of Worldly Wisdom teaches the same sort of lessons (and more) in a much broader context. 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 in 1647, it is a classic masterpiece.
Certainly there have been other books in the same genre, but I have yet to find another one as penetrating and objective. La Rochefoucauld’s Maxims(1660-80s) is insightful as well, but it is colored by a lifetime of bitter experiences. Though Gracián had his own troubles, perhaps being a priest allowed him to observe clearly without becoming jaded by the excesses and pitfalls of worldly life. Also, The Art of Worldly Wisdom contains only 300 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. Nietzsche wrote that “Europe has never produced anything finer or more complicated in matters of moral subtlety,” and Schopenhauer considered the book “Absolutely unique… a book made for constant use…a companion for life” for “those who wish to prosper in the great world.”
So read The Art of Worldly Wisdom; you will not regret it. 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!
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Read information about the authorBaltasar Gracián y Morales, SJ (8 January 1601 – 6 December 1658), formerly Anglicized as Baltazar Gracian, was a Spanish Jesuit and baroque prose writer and philosopher. He was born in Belmonte, near Calatayud (Aragón). His proto-existentialist writings were lauded by Nietzsche and Schopenhauer.
The son of a doctor, in his childhood Gracián lived with his uncle, who was a priest. He studied at a Jesuit school in 1621 and 1623 and theology in Zaragoza. He was ordained in 1627 and took his final vows in 1635.
He assumed the vows of the Jesuits in 1633 and dedicated himself to teaching in various Jesuit schools. He spent time in Huesca, where he befriended the local scholar Vincencio Juan de Lastanosa, who helped him achieve an important milestone in his intellectual upbringing. He acquired fame as a preacher, although some of his oratorical displays, such as reading a letter sent from Hell from the pulpit, were frowned upon by his superiors. He was named Rector of the Jesuit college of Tarragona and wrote works proposing models for courtly conduct such as El héroe (The Hero), El político (The Politician), and El discreto (The Discreet One). During the Spanish war with Catalonia and France, he was chaplain of the army that liberated Lleida in 1646.
In 1651, he published the first part of the Criticón (Faultfinder) without the permission of his superiors, whom he disobeyed repeatedly. This attracted the Society's displeasure. Ignoring the reprimands, he published the second part of Criticón in 1657, as a result was sanctioned and exiled to Graus at the beginning of 1658. Soon Gracián wrote to apply for membership in another religious order. His demand was not met, but his sanction was eased off: in April of 1658 he was sent to several minor positions under the College of Tarazona. His physical decline prevented him from attending the provincial congregation of Calatayud and on 6 December 1658 Gracián died in Tarazona, near Zaragoza in the Kingdom of Aragón.
Gracián is the most representative writer of the Spanish Baroque literary style known as Conceptismo (Conceptism), of which he was the most important theoretician; his Agudeza y arte de ingenio (Wit and the Art of Inventiveness) is at once a poetic, a rhetoric and an anthology of the conceptist style.
The Aragonese village where he was born (Belmonte de Calatayud), changed its name to Belmonte de Gracian in his honour.
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