"The beauty and mystery of this world only emerges through affection, attention, interest and compassion . . . open your eyes wide and actually see this world by attending to its colors, details and irony.”
~ Orhan Pamuk, My Name Is Red
How well do you know Irony?
How well do any of us know irony?
Can you find the irony in your life? Oh, it’s there; you just have to know where to look.
"Why is Irony important? It's important because real Irony, true Irony has a place and a function in the world we live in. What we disagree about is what Irony actually is; whether it should be used at all and if so, where and when to use it; how to use it.
People seek order by rejecting disorder. People seek security by rejecting insecurity and so it goes. We live in polarity. Irony is a tool used to shine a light on what we reject. How a person uses this tool or technique may be quite original or more of the same. Irony is a flexible technique in the hands of the ironist. People can't seem to agree on what Irony is because there are certain aspects of Irony that are quite malleable. How a person chooses to use Irony is what makes it controversial. Irony can be as different as people are, and here lies its intrigue.
There are two types of people. There are those who take everything on authority, at face value, and there are those who question everything. In between the extremes, we find a mix of both types.
We find Irony in contradiction. Without contradiction, there would be no place or use for Irony. Because life is steeped in contradiction, Irony lives and continues to thrive.
Irony began as a literary device in early Greece. Historically, Socrates is the first to have used the technique. Plato and Aristotle and others credit him with being the source of Irony. The word Irony originated from the Greek word eironeia, which meant 'dissimulation' - to conceal, mask or obfuscate. Socrates used dissimulation as an understatement in an effort to surface duplicity. He would pretend to be ignorant, and use simple questioning in an attempt to surface true ignorance in the arguments of his debate opponents. From ancient Greece, Irony evolved, over the centuries, into the core of human relationships, and we use it in various ways. The chapter on ‘origins and usage’ has more on the evolution of Irony.
Irony, defined as a 'figure of speech' in ancient rhetoric, has found a home in the way each of us perceives and views life, and its events. Irony, in its original intention, begs the questions:
"What is real, what is true?"
"Does reality define us, or do we define reality?"
Irony has found a home in that intersection; the crossroad where appearance and reality meet; where contradiction lives.
People seek order by rejecting disorder. People seek security by rejecting insecurity and so it goes.
We find Irony in contradiction. Without contradiction, there would be no place or use for Irony.
How a person chooses to use Irony is what makes it controversial.
What is real, what is true?
Does reality define us, or do we define reality?
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