La Rochefoucauld Holding a Bluebird
The Duc de La Rochefoucauld was a French author and philosopher. After experiencing betrayal, injury, imprisonment, plagiarism, impoverishment and libel he retreated to contemplative pursuits in the living rooms of the Comtesse de Lafayette and Marquise de Sable (2 of the leading intellectuals of their day) in the company of artists and writers.
In these salons (living rooms, not hairdressers) there was no room for pomp, you had to find another way to be heard. Here he came up with his idea for one-line philosophies culminating in his famous book, The Maxims, one of the true masterpieces of philosophy.
He tweaked his [Twitter length] aphorisms based on his audience’s reactions [like a comedian writing a ‘bit’]. Put most eloquently by Alain de Botton, “Twitter gives us the opportunity to put La Rochefoucauld’s genius in to action in our own digital salons”.