Lit Week 2014: A Metaphor Workshop
Presented by Harvard LitFest and GrubStreet
April 30, 2014
Metaphor is much more than a literary device employed by love-struck poets when they refer to their girlfriends as interstellar masses of incandescent gas ("Juliet is the sun"). Metaphor is intensely yet inconspicuously present in everything from economics and advertising to politics and business to science and psychology. We utter about one metaphor for every 10 to 25 words, or about six metaphors a minute! Fresh metaphors are essential to writing fine lines, the rich, robust sentences that characterize the most compelling poetry and prose. Nowhere is this more evident than in the brief, witty, philosophical sayings known as aphorisms. In this lively, interactive workshop at Harvard University's Lit Fest, we will experiment with our own impromptu aphoristic compositions, in the process learning how to construct the kind of concise, vivid sentences that linger in readers' minds. (James Geary is the Deputy Curator of the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University. A 2012 Nieman Fellow, he is the author of two books about aphorisms, The New York Times bestseller The World in A Phrase: A Brief History of the Aphorism and Geary's Guide to The World's Great Aphorists. His most recent book is I Is an Other: The Secret Life of Metaphor and How It Shapes The Way We See The World.) Lit Week pleasantly coincides with Harvard University's Lit Fest, which takes place April 29th-May1st.