Tag Archives: William Makepeace Thackeray

Living By My Wits !!

“Wisdom is better than wit, and in the long run will certainly have the laugh on her side” – Jane Austen

When I read such piquant quotes, I contemplate about the serious dearth of original and supreme level of wits in the present day authors. Today, it is so hard to find such clever yet funny quotes. I don’t intend to belittle the works by new world writers but Inever found an opportunity to compare anything with Oscar Wilde or Mark Twain.

Think, it was something in the air during 16th -18th century when every third person born became an author. I suppose wittiness was infectious in those centuries as people around themselves maintained an optimal level of it to encourage it to reach its highest level contrary to today’s world when a Family Guy joke is sometimes complimented as how witty!!

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There is a fine demarcation between being witty and funny. Being funny even logically does not necessarily means you are carrying wits, and it is true vice-versa as sometimes wits may make people laugh and other times it puts them in awe. I believe it is either inherent in us or it takes a lot amount of reading to bring out that witty-talking spontaneously. And if you think it’s not in you just follow this straight advice from Mr. Twain – “it is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubts.” I seriously look up to Dorothy Parker when I want something brilliantly funny, I would be totally in love with myself when I’ll start formulating original quotes like “This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.” or “The first thing I do in the morning is brush my teeth and sharpen my tongue.”

I don’t deny the fact that sometimes I do inspire myself with such quotes and try to incorporate the same edginess, like the one from Oscar Wilde “Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months” but it’s such a disappointment when people say “what do you mean?” I am just left with a straight face. Kill Me. And then there are quotes that let you ponder and act “Hope is such a bait, it covers any hook” by Oliver Goldsmith or “There are a thousand thoughts lying within a man that he does not know till he takes up a pen to write” by William Makepeace Thackeray.  I would not mind going back to that era by a time machine and acquire this “art” under the tutelage of great writers of all time.