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Hans-Jürgen Quadbeck-Seeger (1939) has had an illustrious ca- reer as a professor of Chemistry and as a major figure in German industry. Since 1988 he has published several books of aphorisms, his latest being Aphonitionen: Aphoristische Definitionen (Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann, 2019). It contains about 7500 extremely concise statements that he calls “aphonitions” (a wordplay with aphorism and definition). About 275 or 3.7% are definitional aphorisms based on the wordplay with prov- erbs and proverbial expressions. Quite a few are innovative anti-proverbs that contain sociopolitical statements about modern existence. They are meant to entertain as well as educate without being didactic. Many of these “aphonitions” contain proverbial expressions from classical times and the Bible, while others refer to animals and body parts. Altogether these texts show that there exists a long tradition of the connection between literary aphorisms and folk expressions with the latter adding much metaphorical expressiveness.
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