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Laughter, Literature, Violence, 1840–1930

Authors: Taylor, Jonathan

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  • Examines the hybrid nature of humour and comedy in works by Edgar Allan Poe, Gosse, Wyndham Lewis, and Katherine Mansfield
  • Explores the complex nature between laughter and violence
  • Views comedy in relation to other literary modes, forms, genres, sub-genres and generic traits
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eBook $64.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-11413-8
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $84.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-030-11412-1
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

Laughter, Literature, Violence, 1840-1930 investigates the strange, complex, even paradoxical relationship between laughter, on the one hand, and violence, war, horror, death, on the other. It does so in relation to philosophy, politics, and key nineteenth- and twentieth-century literary texts, by Edgar Allan Poe, Edmund Gosse, Wyndham Lewis and Katherine Mansfield – texts which explore the far reaches of Schadenfreude, and so-called ‘superiority theories’ of laughter, pushing these theories to breaking point. In these literary texts, the violent superiority often ascribed to laughter is seen as radically unstable, co-existing with its opposite: an anarchic sense of equality. Laughter, humour and comedy are slippery, duplicitous, ambivalent, self-contradictory hybrids, fusing apparently discordant elements. Now and then, though, literary and philosophical texts also dream of a different kind of laughter, one which reaches beyond its alloys – a transcendent, ‘perfect’ laughter which exists only in and for itself.  

About the authors

Jonathan Taylor is Associate Professor at the University of Leicester, where he directs the MA in Creative Writing. He is an author, editor and lecturer, whose writing encompasses both critical and creative forms. His previous monographs are Mastery and Slavery in Victorian Writing (Palgrave Macmillan, 2003), and Science and Omniscience in Nineteenth-Century Literature (2007). His creative work includes a memoir, Take Me Home (2007), the novel Melissa (2015), and the poetry collection Cassandra Complex (2018). 

Reviews

“In Laughter, Literature, Violence, 1840-1930 we see the convoluted relationship between laughter, violence, war, horror and death. … This is a text for the academic to help him or her to interrogate and to investigate and a book for the interested party, who enjoys the subject. Both are well served. It is not too academic to put off the casual reader, yet it has enough gravitas to educate and intrigue.” (Jon Wilkins, Everybody's Reviewing, Everybody's Reviewing, everybodysreviewing.blogspot.com, March 23, 2019)


Table of contents (5 chapters)

Table of contents (5 chapters)
  • First and Last Laughs: Allegories, Hybrids and Histories, 1840–1930

    Pages 1-48

    Taylor, Jonathan

  • His ‘Last Jest’: On Laughter, Edgar Allan Poe and ‘Hop-Frog’

    Pages 49-88

    Taylor, Jonathan

  • ‘Unseemly Levity’: On Memoirs, Humour and Edmund Gosse

    Pages 89-160

    Taylor, Jonathan

  • ‘Perfect Laughter’: On War, Wyndham Lewis and The Wild Body

    Pages 161-217

    Taylor, Jonathan

  • ‘Derisive Laughter’: On Superiority, Katherine Mansfield and ‘Miss Brill’

    Pages 219-234

    Taylor, Jonathan

Buy this book

eBook $64.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-11413-8
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $84.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-030-11412-1
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Laughter, Literature, Violence, 1840–1930
Authors
Copyright
2019
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG, part of Springer Nature
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-11413-8
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-11413-8
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-030-11412-1
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
X, 258
Number of Illustrations
1 b/w illustrations
Topics