Laughing at the Darkness: Postmodernism and Optimism in American Humour

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Humanities-Ebooks, 2010 - Literary Criticism - 147 pages
Paul McDonald’s book is the second in our Contemporary American Literature series, edited by Christopher Gair and Aliki Varvogli. Given that postmodernism has been associated with doubt, chaos, relativism and the disappearance of reality, it may appear difficult to reconcile with American optimism. Laughing at the Darkness demonstrates that this is not always the case. In examining the work of, among others, Sherman Alexie, Woody Allen, Douglas Coupland, Jonathan Safran Foer, Bill Hicks, David Mamet, and Philip Roth, McDonald shows how American humorists bring their comedy to bear on some of the negative implications of philosophical postmodernism and, in so doing, explore ways of reclaiming value.
 

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Contents

Series Preface
6
Acknowledgements
11
Introduction
12
CHAPTER ONE
25
CHAPTER TWO
64
CHAPTER THREE
90
Conclusion
128
Bibliography
133
The Author
147
Untitled
148
HumanitiesEbooks Titles
149
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

Paul McDonald works at the University of Wolverhampton where he is Senior Lecturer in American Literature and Course Leader for Creative Writing. He is the author of twelve books, including three poetry collections and three comic novels. His criticism includes books on Philip Roth, the fiction of the Industrial Midlands, and Laughing at the Darkness: Postmodernism and American Humour (Humanities-Ebooks, 2011), available on this site. His research focuses largely on comedy, and he takes a perverse pleasure in the fact that Googling ‘the oldest joke in the world’ generates several hundred pages with his name on

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