Friday, March 4, 2011

Can Literature Be Funny? (Sadly, the Answer is No.)

Welcome to the Literary Blog Hop

Gilion from Rose City Reader asks:
Can literature be funny?
What is your favorite humorous literary book?

Sadly, I did not know the answer to this important question.
I turned to my esteemed colleague, Doktor Büks.

Me: Doktor Büks, I have been asked whether literature can be funny.
What do you think?
Doktor Büks: No! Never! Nein! Ze literachure zhat iz important is zerious.
Pleaze! Iz zhere funny literachure?! Abzurd!

There you have it. Literature is not funny.

So think carefully about this
before deciding to spend your life
reading Literature.
Lots of very big words
in big thick books.
Plus, no laughing.

This blog hop is open to blogs
that primarily feature book reviews
of literary fiction, classic literature,
and general literary discussion.


  1. Love it, as you know I wasn't able to think of anything funny either. I'm surprised how funny people think Shakesspeare is!

  2. Dead Souls by Gogol, a Russian classic, about landowners who benefit by pretending their dead serfs are still alive, and that they have tons of serfs, is one of the funniest books I've read. Try it!

  3. Awesome, though the only way I can find literature funny is usually through a performance of it, as with Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing or Twelfth Night. I must get the number of this doktor for a friend of mine. ;)

    Happy reading!

  4. Excellent post - very funny itself!

  5. Hilarious! I was almost angry..but then, I thought, there might be something else going on here... ;)

  6. Ha!Cheeky.

    Bartleby the Scrivner-hilarious.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog.

  7. I love to point people toward Mark Twain and Jonathan Swift when they argue that literature and humor are separate genres. Nice post! :)

  8. Hmmm. You may have a point. The more depressed I feel at the end of a book, the better I think the book must have been.

  9. Excellent, Susan. I agree totally. I may quote you. ;->

  10. The problem with experts is that they can never agree, in fact it's been proven statisticaly (Heidelburg Stadt University for Satistical analysis & Damned Lies), that for every professorial opinion, yopu can find 15.07 alternate opinions. In fact I was speaking to Dr Zarathrustra von Slappenstick, whilst researching this question earlier to day, during his answer the one bit I understood was Yes there is between 1 & 99.5% humour in some books of literary worth.

  11. Thank you for sharing your scientific data, parrish lantern. Much appreciated. ;->

  12. Fun counter post-reminds me of the lead in for a Borat skit on the great literary works of Kakastain!

  13. Must definitely check out the lead in for the Borat skit on the great literary works of Kakastain!

  14. What a cute blog!! I'm now following you.

  15. Ha. Doktor Buks triumphs again.

  16. Deb Nance, you crack me up! Therefore, you must not be very literary, since we all know that literature is not humorous...on which shelf in the library do you think you may be found? :)

  17. Why oh why would you ever pick up something big heavy and filled with words to find a laugh, when there are such easy options like watching TV, playing on the internet, listening to talk radio, or watching the stock market?

  18. You're right. My sons have been right all this time. There ain't nothing funny in no literature book.

  19. Luckily, Heather, libraries are not devoted entirely to books with literary value. Someone has even managed to find a shelf for me in my library. I can't read the scrawl very well, but it looks like someone has written "Weeded" on a piece of tape just under my shelf.

  20. Such wise, wise commenters on this post. And, given the mess that is our state economy, with proposed cuts to education, including libraries and PreK programs, I think that perhaps we will not have to long worry about whether Literature is Funny or Serious as no one will be able to read much of anything anyway.

  21. Very cute post and I love the picture :)

  22. Hahaha! I have to disagree with the good Doktor.


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