The Encyclopedia of Stupidity

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9781861892317: The Encyclopedia of Stupidity
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Matthijs van Boxsel believes that no one is intelligent enough to understand their own stupidity. In "The Encyclopodia of Stupidity" he shows how stupidity manifests itself in all areas, in everyone, at all times, proposing that stupidity is the foundation of our civilization. In short sections with such titles as 'The Blunderers' Club', 'Fools in Hell', 'Genealogy of Idiots', and 'The Aesthetics of the Empty Gesture', stupidity is analysed on the basis of fairy tales, cartoons, triumphal arches, garden architecture, Baroque ceilings, jokes, flimsy excuses and science fiction. But Van Boxsel wants to do more than just assemble a 'shadow cabinet' of wisdom; he tries to fathom the logic of this opposite world. Where do understanding and intelligence begin and end? He examines mythic fools such as Cyclops and King Midas, cities such as Gotham, archetypes including the dumb blonde, and traditionally stupid animals such as the goose, the donkey and the headless chicken. Van Boxsel posits that stupidity is a condition for intelligence, that blunders stimulate progress, that failure is the basis for success. In this erudite and witty book he maintains that our culture is the product of a series of failed attempts to comprehend stupidity.

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Review:

'[a] weirdly wonderful compilation . . . van Boxsel ranges from wise fools to dumb blondes, via laughing meadows and perfects idiots.' --The Observer

`An illustrated hodgepodge of ruminations, anecdotes, aphorisms and esoterica.' --New York Times

`If there is one publication that qualifies for immortality and is also inexhaustible, it should be The Encyclopædia of Stupidity.' --Vrij Nederland

`Matthijs van Boxsel has collected the most fantastic facts and knows how to share with the reader his pleasure in doing so.' --NRC Handelsblad

`A superb collection of improbable follies, blunders, errors, stupidities and howlers. An uncommonly cheerful and exciting book.'
--Elsevier

Synopsis:

This book is the Schott's Miscellany of stupidity. Using a myriad of instructive examples, stupidity is dissected with the help of fairy-tales, cartoons, Baroque painted ceilings, jokes, flimsy excuses, traffic accidents, garden designs, pieces of nonsense, science fiction ...Matthijs van Boxsel introduces us to a past and present world of mishaps and misunderstandings, from tower-builders who lack a ladder to get into their tower to peasants who collect water with a sieve. In a smorgasbord of entertaining anecdotes, such as 'The Eggshells of Ignorance', 'The Hell of Fools', 'The Logic of Dual Stupidity', 'On the Origin of Dullards' and 'The Not Terribly Good Club of Great Britain', we are shown that stupidity is in fact the foundation of our civilization. And in an attempt to fathom the logic of this nether world, the author posits that no one is intelligent enough to understand their own stupidity. Nor can anyone hope to comprehend all the institutional stupidity that results from science and academia.

In this erudite and witty book the author argues that - contrary to what we've always thought - stupidity is a crucial condition for intelligence, that blunders stimulate progress, and that failure is the basis for success.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9781861891594: The Encyclopedia of Stupidity

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ISBN 10: 1861891598 ISBN 13: 9781861891594
Publisher: Reaktion Books, 2003
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9781861891976: The Encyclopedia of Stupidity

Reakti..., 2004
Softcover

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Book Description Reaktion Books, United Kingdom, 2005. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. Matthijs van Boxsel believes that no one is intelligent enough to understand their own stupidity. In "The Encyclopodia of Stupidity" he shows how stupidity manifests itself in all areas, in everyone, at all times, proposing that stupidity is the foundation of our civilization. In short sections with such titles as 'The Blunderers' Club', 'Fools in Hell', 'Genealogy of Idiots', and 'The Aesthetics of the Empty Gesture', stupidity is analysed on the basis of fairy tales, cartoons, triumphal arches, garden architecture, Baroque ceilings, jokes, flimsy excuses and science fiction. But Van Boxsel wants to do more than just assemble a 'shadow cabinet' of wisdom; he tries to fathom the logic of this opposite world. Where do understanding and intelligence begin and end? He examines mythic fools such as Cyclops and King Midas, cities such as Gotham, archetypes including the dumb blonde, and traditionally stupid animals such as the goose, the donkey and the headless chicken. Van Boxsel posits that stupidity is a condition for intelligence, that blunders stimulate progress, that failure is the basis for success.In this erudite and witty book he maintains that our culture is the product of a series of failed attempts to comprehend stupidity. Seller Inventory # BTE9781861892317

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