American Humorists

Fb&c Limited, 26/06/2015 - 256 páginas
Excerpt from American Humorists

A few words on wit and humor in general; a few more on American wit and humor in particular; and a good many on the wit and humor of Washington Irving, Oliver Wendell Holmes, James Russell Lowell, Artemus Ward, Mark Twain, and Bret Harte.

I have read long and tiresome essays by Hazlitt and others, explaining the difference between wit and humor. I have lain awake at night thinking over the difference, and I have come to the conclusion - that there is none. I hasten to reveal this truth to the world because it has been such a comfort to me. Humor is the electric atmosphere, wit is the flash. A situation provides the atmospheric humor, and with the culminating point of it comes the flash.

The character of Carlyles "Teufelsdroeckh" is perfectly steeped in a peculiar kind of dry and flowing humor, but when he says that England is composed of ten million of human beings - mostly fools, there is the flash. Out of such a tone of mind from such a humorous atmosphere, we may expect to draw a spark at almost any moment.

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