American Humor by Arthur Power Dudden

By Arthur Power Dudden

The paramount query replied during this soaking up number of essays is: what is so humorous approximately American humor, and why? What are American humor's features? How have they developed and displayed themselves? Which features are distinctively, or maybe uniquely, American? initially showing as a subject matter of the yankee Quarterly, those essays take an in depth examine American humor from progressive instances to the current day, and especially specialize in the ignored traits of the earlier fifty years. American comedian figures as diverse--and even surprising--as Mark Twain and Richard Nixon, at a number of cars for American humor similar to comedian strips, radio and tv, video clips, and standup comedians, and at varied genres of humor together with political, ethnic, and feminist humor, this booklet brings a full of life new standpoint to the learn of yank tradition.

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Why, they named it after Congress itself"). See The Gilded Age, ch. 27. 22 Peter M. Briggs often for its positive values to historical ideals, not abstract ones, and most of history, both literary and civic, was an ocean away, as far as Americans were concerned. This oceanic remove from history does not necessarily eliminate the possibility of historical resonance in satire or elsewhere, but it makes any such resonance a much more distant one. 29 Americans in 1776 or 1789 were much more in the position of discovering and asserting that their culture had a true center, a coherence, an order, a teleology—and to such labors a satirist need not apply.

Press/Belknap Press, 1962), 16, 17, 41; Smith, Democracy and the Novel: Popular Resistance to Classic American Writers (New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1978), 119. The Importance of Mark Twain 29 The most courageous inhabitants of the Alps take a particular pleasure in looking for and killing the chamois in the wilds of the highest mountains. Great courage, presence of mind and perseverance is wanted in chamois hunting. With the thick-soled shoes, the iron-tipped stick, the pointed hat, ornamented with a chamois beard, and the double-barrel rifle, the hunter starts in the evening .

This is a sure way to undermine the moral fabric of a cat. Thirty years from now there will not be a moral cat in New Zealand. Some think there is none there now. . All governments are more or less shortsighted: in England they fine the poacher, whereas he ought to be banished to New Zealand. 6 Hyperbole, anthropomorphism, the occasional idiomatic expression, and a jab at English law are evident in passages like this one. However, its ultimate effectiveness stems from the impression it delivers of a 6.

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