Comic Effects: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Humor in Literature

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SUNY Press, Aug 15, 1989 - Biography & Autobiography - 179 pages
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Lewis draws on both humor theories and research, arguing for the development of interdisciplinary methodologies in the study of literary humor. He demonstrates that the sociologist of humor and the comic playwright approach the same subject—humor in and between groups—with different tools, that writers of Bildungsromane and developmental psychologists share a common interest in the role of humor in maturation, and that the monsters that haunt the psyches of professional comedians can be useful in understanding the odd minglings of humor and fear in Gothic fiction. His treatment of writers who differ widely in their use of humor suggests that the complexity and diversity of humor make it a richly variable determinant of character, genre, and writer.
 

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Contents

Humor Criticism and Humor Research
1
Politics of Comedy and the Social Functions of Humor
31
Humor and Maturation in Fictions of Development
71
Humor and Fear in the Gothic
111
CONCLUSION
155
NOTES
161
INDEX
177
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About the author (1989)

Paul Lewis is Associate Professor of English at Boston College.

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