On the Comic and Laughter
Published: November 2009© 2009
224 Pages, 6.36 x 9.37 x 0.68 in
An extensive investigation of the forms and functions of the comic, this lively and engaging English critical edition will be welcomed by those interested in laughter, comedy, folklore, Russian literature, and specific authors such as Gogol, Pushkin, Chekhov, Rabelais, Molière, and Shakespeare. The direct, humorous, and provocative style of this work, which tackles the subject of humour with a vast array of vivid examples encountered on every page, will certainly appeal to the contemporary reader.
Vladimir Propp takes various forms of laughter in literature and real life and addresses questions such as the comic of similarity, the comic of difference, parody, duping, incongruity, lying, ritual laughter, and carnival laughter. The author of the widely acclaimed Morphology of the Folktale has written an original, comprehensive, and exciting study on how humour works, and on everything you wanted to know about the genre, in a clear, approachable, and insightful manner.
Foreword by Jean-Patrick Debbèche and Paul Perron
Types of Laughter and Ridiculing Laughter as a Type
Those Who Laugh and Those Who Do Not
The Ridiculous in Nature
The Physical Side of Humans
The Comic of Similarity
The Comic of Difference
Humans Disgused as Animals
Humans as Things
Ridiculing the Professions
The Verbal Devices of the Comic
Role Exchange: 'Much Ado about Nothing'
Bitter and Cynical Laughter
Conclusion, Results and Further Thoughts
On Aesthetic Qualities
'Since the publication of Morphology of the Folktale, Vladimir Propp has been well known to folklorists, medievalists, and literary scholars. In The Comic and Laughter, readers will easily recognize Propp through his comprehensive knowledge of the material and his ability to rise above a collection of facts. This translation of The Comic and Laughter will attract all those who wish to explore the nature of humor and its reflection in literature.'Anatoly Liberman, Department of German, Scandinavian and Dutch, University of Minnesota