The Lost Art of Losing

By Gregory Norminton

Format: Multiple Formats

The Lost Art of Losing is a collection of thoughts, rants and aphorisms by award-winning novelist Gregory Norminton. By turns comic and despairing, jubilant and wry, they present, through fragments, a picture of the mind - and of troubling times.

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Vagabond Voices

Founded in 2008 and based in Glasgow, Vagabond Voices is an independent publisher that is both Scottish and fervently European in its aims. Vagabond is committed to introducing new titles from Scottish authors and translating fiction from other languages. Our library reflects our aims to promote literary ambition and innovative writers, and to challenge readers.

Product Description


Gregory Norminton transforms the aphorism into something more accessible and personal. Ultimately he uses aphorisms to question everything - including the aphorism itself: 'Incessantly we ask the meaning of life to protect us from hearing the perfectly obvious answer.' In The Lost Art of Losing, the author analyses the process and the hubris of literary invention, and is brutal in revealing its limitations: 'No revelation sparkles brighter than the one scribbled down from sleep, nor looks duller when revisited by the light of day. What we dream is the image of meaning. The object eludes.' These aphorisms explore the complex relationship between the self and wider society: 'To fear the ill-opinion of others is grossly to overestimate the space we take up in their imagination.' Norminton understands that an aphorism relies on the elegance of its thought: 'Some birds beat the air as if it were a foe meaning to drag them down. Others seem only to flap their wings in order to keep us from getting suspicious.'

Additional Information

Additional Information

Format Multiple Formats
Imprint Vagabond Voices
Publication Date 20 Apr 2012
SKU 9781908251060-grouped
Number of Pages 96

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Press Reviews

Norminton's aphorisms are witty, some provocative, some self-revelatory and touching to read. A companionable little volume that brings fresh life to a venerable form." - Andrew Miller author of Pure, winner of the 2012 Costa Prize Chesterton said that novels are written for the sake of ve or six words. Gregory Norminton has dispensed with the dross and given us nothing but the real thing: a whole library of " ve or six words" in their magni cent, illuminating, witty and moving essence. - Alberto Manguel Norminton describes himself as a 'novelist and seated person'. From that sedentary position, he also writes really good aphorisms... His dark insights into the human condition glitter around the edges of these aphorisms, but he clearly feels that few dismal truths are so bleak that they don't also deserve a laugh. - James Geary, author of The World in a Phrase: A Brief History of the Aphorism

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