Thursday, March 3, 2011
Literary Blog Hop: Laughable Literature
No, that doesn't mean literature to be mocked; rather, it means literature that makes you laugh, which is the topic of this week's Literary Blog Hop, hosted by The Blue Bookshelf. More specifically, the question is:
Can literature be funny? What is your favorite humorous literary book?
Honestly, I found this to be a rather odd question to which my initial response was, Why couldn't literature be funny? But I suppose that that's not a very productive answer, so I will say a bit more.
First off, yes. Literature can be funny. "Literature" and "classics" don't need to be the stuffy spectacles that you remember from high school English. Perhaps literature tends to be a bit more serious than, say, (okayI'mhavingtroublethinkingoffunnybooksstallingstallingstalling) The Bathroom Reader (which really never was very fun and did not inspire to linger on the toilet for as long as the title would suggest). That said, literature tends embody writing that is more - sophisticated, perhaps? Clever? Multifaceted? And why can't one of those facets be humor? I for one am a big fan of subtle humor, especially when layered in with not-so-humorous circumstances.
Examples, examples... The first that comes to mind is Pride and Prejudice. This is probably a pretty common one; in fact, it was mentioned by Lucia in the title post, and with good reason: there are bits that are laugh-out-loud hilarious, and they're not particularly rare. For those who don't see the humor, I recommend that you watch the BBC version of the movie. It's very true to the book (so true, in fact, that it's six hours long) but it'll really help you catch the comedy. This was my first Austen novel and I will admit that I found it perfectly free of hilarity until I heard the humor and realized that it was there all along.
I'm currently reading Silas Marner, in which George Eliot uses humor in a similar way: it's slightly mocking in tone and doesn't around with bells and a banner that says "I am funny, hear me chuckle!" However, I've laughed out loud a few times already, and I'm only halfway through.
There are endless examples, but I won't ramble. What literary works do you find humorous?