A unique collection of advice for life and perhaps the first ‘self-help’ book ever written
Written over 350 years ago, The Pocket Oracle and Art of Prudence is a subtle collection of 300 witty and thought-provoking aphorisms. From the art of being lucky to the healthy use of caution, these elegant maxims were created as a guide to life, with further suggestions given on cultivating good taste, knowing how to refuse, the foolishness of complaining and the wisdom of controlling one’s passions. Baltasar Gracian intended these ingenious, pragmatic aphorisms to challenge the mind, and recognised that few would be capable of applying them.
In Jeremy Robbins’s introduction to his penetrating new translation, he examines Gracian’s place in Spanish literature and his previous works. Robbins also looks at the themes, contexts and contradictions of The Pocket Oracle, as well as the brevity and subtlety of Gracian’s cool-headed aphorisms. This edition also contains a chronology, suggested further reading and notes.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.