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Many of you have already written and at least drafted your entry for the Paragram Paradox Prize however, for those who are still thinking and wondering this blog may be just the nudge you need.

The dictionary definition is about as useful as … well you are writers, you fill the gap as you see fit! The first entry I came across as I searched on Google was:

paradox
ˈparədɒks/
noun
noun: paradox; plural noun: paradoxes
  1. a seemingly absurd or contradictory statement or proposition which when investigated may prove to be well founded or true.
    “the uncertainty principle leads to all sorts of paradoxes, like the particles being in two places at once”
    synonyms: contradiction, contradiction in terms, self-contradiction, inconsistency, incongruity,anomaly, conflict; More

    • a statement or proposition which, despite sound (or apparently sound) reasoning from acceptable premises, leads to a conclusion that seems logically unacceptable or self-contradictory.
      “the liar paradox”
    • a person or thing that combines contradictory features or qualities.
      “cathedrals face the paradox of having enormous wealth in treasures but huge annual expenses”

Cambridge Dictionaries online is a little clearer:
a situation or statement that seems impossible or is difficult to understand because it contains two opposite facts or characteristics:

[+ that] It’s a curious paradox that drinking a lot of water can often make you feel thirsty.

The Liar Paradox:
This, for those who are not familiar with the term is most easily explained as to imagine you are asking a question of someone who always tells lies and they  reply ‘I am lying when I tell you….’

Examples of Paradox at work:
Another link I have found that has some really useful thoughts on the subject of paradox is http://examples.yourdictionary.com/examples-of-paradox.html

On reading the examples offered at the beginning of the piece I particularly enjoyed the idea of nobody visiting a restaurant because it is always too crowded, or the idea that deep down someone is really shallow. I am sure many of you will find other favourites.

One thing that came to mind as I read more and more is how often adages embody the truth of paradox as well as the truth of life. For example: ‘out of the mouths of babes’ or ‘youth is wasted on the young’ or perhaps ‘Spare the rod and spoil the child’. Many of these we know, they almost run in our blood, but often we discount them as being out of fashion or just so much part of our culture that we know longer even think about them long enough to see them with new eyes and to see the possibilities for story plot or poem theme.

Particularly among the examples of paradox  listed on this site I noticed the Robert Frost quote: ‘men work together whether they work together or apart’. It immediately put me in mind of his poem ‘Mending Wall’ which points to yet another adage ‘good fences make good neighbours’.

Time for a second entry…?

For those who are already well on the way to submission with their paradox entry maybe this will prompt a second entry…there is still plenty of time before the closing date – 31st July 2016 – and the fee for a second submission is discounted. 

For those still at the planning stage our hope is that this blog may be a helpful Paragram Pointer towards cementing your ideas.

Whichever category you are in, we wish you well and our judge, Claire Dyer is waiting eagerly to read your entries.

 

 

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