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Book Title: A Pocket Mirror for Heroes|
The author of the book: Baltasar Gracián
ISBN 13: 9780385503143
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 23.15 MB
Edition: Crown Business
Date of issue: January 30th 2001
Read full description of the books A Pocket Mirror for Heroes:A Pocket Mirror for Heroes is a mirror because it reflects "the person you are or the one you ought to be." It is a pocket mirror because its author took the time to be brief. And it is a mirror for heroes because it provides a vivid image of ethical and moral perfection to which all can aspire. The Art of Worldly Wisdom by Baltasar Gracian was all but forgotten for three hundred years, until its republication in 1992 turned this lost classic into a New York Times bestseller. Now Gracian, the Spanish Jesuit considered Machiavelli's better in strategy and insight, sets a new standard on the art of living and the practice of achieving. That new standard is the art of heroism--how to be "the consummate person, ripe and perfect: accurate in judgment, mature in taste, attentive in listening, wise in sayings, shrewd in deeds, the center of all perfection."
Gracian teaches the reader to be "a giant"--"the greatest person possible, a miracle of perfection, a king." Wit, wisdom, courage, elegance, grace, humility, spontaneity--these are the qualities needed to reach heroism in any occupation. But it is not enough to be wise or graceful: one must learn as well how to manage that talent, how to distinguish a quality fiom its shadow. A Pocket Mirror for Heroes provides "a politics for governing oneself, a compass for sailing toward excellence, an art for reaching distinction with just a few rules of discretion," and it will be wise and witty company for anyone who recognizes--and relishes--the challenges of daily life.
From the Hardcover edition.
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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