Necessary Irony

Sunday, February 28, 2021 – Necessary Irony

Brain research tells us that only twenty percent of human beings have a sense of irony, which means that eighty percent of the world takes everything at face value. ~ Doug Coupland

Irony is just honesty with the volume cranked up. ~ George Saunders

Irony is the gaiety of reflection and the joy of wisdom. ~ Anatole France

Irony is the hygiene of the mind. ~ Elizabeth Bibesco

Irony, I feel, is a very high form of morality. ~ Jean Stafford

Humor brings insight and tolerance. Irony brings a deeper and less friendly understanding. ~ Agnes Repplier

Irony differentiates. Cynicism never does. ~ Paul Horgan

Irony is a clear consciousness of an eternal agility, of the infinitely abundant chaos. ~ Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel

A taste for irony has kept more hearts from breaking than a sense of humor, for it takes irony to appreciate the joke which is on oneself. ~ Jessamyn West

Irony is a disciplinarian feared only by those who do not know it, but cherished by those who do. He who does not understand irony, and has no ear for its whispering, lacks of what might be called the absolute beginning of the personal life. He lacks what at moments is indispensable for the personal life, lacks both the regeneration and rejuvenation, the cleaning baptism of irony that redeems the soul from having its life in finitude though living boldly and energetically in finitude. ~ Soren Kierkegaard

At a time like this, scorching irony, not convincing argument, is needed. ~ Frederick Douglass

Irony gives us, at little expense, the impression that we are experienced psychologists. ~ Gaston Bachelard

Between “just desserts” and “tragic irony” we are given quite a lot of scope for our particular talent. Generally speaking, things have gone about as far as they can possibly go when things have got about as bad as they reasonably get. ~ Tom Stoppard

From even the greatest of horrors irony is seldom absent. ~ H. P. Lovecraft

The main business of a lawyer is to take the romance, the mystery, the irony, the ambiguity out of everything he touches. ~ Antonin Scalia

Irony regards every simple truth as a challenge. ~ Mason Cooley

We are all tourists in history, and irony is what we win in wars. ~ Anatole Broyard

I’m being ironic. Don’t interrupt a man in the midst of being ironic, it’s not polite. There! ~ Ray Bradbury, The Martian Chronicles

Clap an extinguisher upon your irony if you are unhappily blessed with a vein of it. ~ Charles Lamb

My mother never saw the irony in calling me a son-of-a-bitch. ~ Jack Nicholson

Neither irony or sarcasm is argument. ~ Samuel Butler

Probably it is impossible for humor to be ever a revolutionary weapon. Candide can do little more than generate irony. ~ Lionel Trilling

Okay, so maybe I’m romantic, but somebody is supposed to be romantic. Some warrior is supposed to go to war against the imperial forces of cynicism and irony. I am a sentimental soldier. ~ Sherman Alexie

Sentimental irony is a dog that bays at the moon while pissing on graves. ~ Karl Kraus

Two fundamental literary qualities: supernaturalism and irony. ~ Charles Baudelaire

How much truth is contained in something can be best determined by making it thoroughly laughable and then watching to see how much joking around it can take. For truth is a matter that can withstand mockery, that is freshened by any ironic gesture directed at it. Whatever cannot withstand satire is false. ~ Peter Sloterdijk, Critique of Cynical Reason

A modern philosopher who has never once suspected himself of being a charlatan must be such a shallow mind that his work is probably not worth reading. ~ Leszek Kolakowski