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Art of Worldly Wisdom
[0872432211]

Art of Worldly Wisdom
ISBN: 0872432211

ISBN-13: 9780872432215

300 Practical Proposals for Success by a 17th Century Jesuit -- Three centuries before self-esteem support groups and twelve step programs, before How to Succeed books and Dale Carnegie - there was The Art of Worldly Wisdom. It was the original handbook of advice for winning friends and influencing people. According to The Spectator (London, 1712) the Countess of Aranda was angry with the famous Gracian, accusing him of "having laid open these maxims to common readers, which ought to be reserved for the knowledge of the Great." Gracian, born in 1601 in Belmonte in the Kingdom of Aragon, was a contemporary of Cervantes and Shakespeare. One of his works, "El Criticon," was a philosophical allegory on which Daniel Defoe is said to have based "Robinson Crusoe." Little is known of Gracian's early life except that he was brought up in Toledo in the noble household of his uncle. In 1619 he joined the Society of Jesus only some 80 years after the founding of the society by Ignatius of Loyola and was consequently one of the earliest men in Europe to have been educated in the "Ratio Studiorum," the Jesuit system of studies which was to dominate secondary schooling in Europe for the next several centuries. Gracian taught philosophy and sacred scripture and was a popular preacher. Eventually he became rector of the Jesuit college at Tarragona. Contemporary accounts tell us that he was often asked to dine at the royal court where his advice was eagerly sought and his wisdom regarded with reverence. The Art of Worldly Wisdom consists of 300 brief chapters which Don Vincencio Juan de Lastanosa excerpted from Gracian's complete works and which he published only a few years before Gracian's death in 1658. Schopenhauer translated The Art of Worldly Wisdom into German because, he said, there was nothing like it in the German language. "Taking the book as a guide, especially for those who intend to enter public life, I have never chanced to meet with anything which seemed to me even distantly to approach it." Sir M.E. Grant Duff

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Gracian, Baltasar
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