James Geary explores every facet of wittiness, from its role in innovation to why puns demonstrate the essence of creativity. Geary reasons that wit is both visual and verbal, physical and intellectual: there's the serendipitous wit of scientists, the crafty wit of inventors, the optical wit of artists and the metaphysical wit of philosophers.
In Wit's End, Geary embraces wit in every form by adopting a different style for each chapter; he writes the section on verbal repartee as a dramatic dialogue, the neuroscience of wit as a scientific paper, the spirituality of wit as a sermon, and other chapters in jive, rap and the heroic couplets of Alexander Pope. Demonstrating that brevity really is the soul of wit, Geary crafts each chapter from concise sections of 200, 400 or 800 words. Entertaining and illuminating Wit's End shows how wit is much more than a sense of humour.
James Geary is the author of four previous books, including
the New York Times bestseller The World in a Phrase, and is the
deputy curator at Harvard University's Nieman Foundation for
Journalism. A sought-after speaker and avid juggler, he lives
near Boston, Massachusetts.