Bloom's Literary Themes: Dark Humor

Overview

The great literary themes reappear continually throughout the world's literature. Bloom's Literary Themes is a new series that examines these themes as they function in classic literary works, from the Bible to the novels of Toni Morrison and Philip Roth.

Dark humor is the technique of creating comedy through the use of satirical wit and grotesque situations. This volume contains 18 essays that explore the role of dark humor in such works as A Clockwork Orange, "A Good Man Is ...

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Overview

The great literary themes reappear continually throughout the world's literature. Bloom's Literary Themes is a new series that examines these themes as they function in classic literary works, from the Bible to the novels of Toni Morrison and Philip Roth.

Dark humor is the technique of creating comedy through the use of satirical wit and grotesque situations. This volume contains 18 essays that explore the role of dark humor in such works as A Clockwork Orange, "A Good Man Is Hard to Find," A Modest Proposal, "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock," White Noise, "The Yellow Wallpaper," and many others. Some essays have been written specifically for the series; others are excerpts of important critical analyses from selected books and journals.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781604134407
  • Publisher: Chelsea House Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/1/2010
  • Series: Bloom's Literary Themes Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 290
  • Sales rank: 1,240,801
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Series Introduction by Harold Bloom: Themes and Metaphors xi

Volume Introduction Harold Bloom xv

The Plays of Aristophanes: "Aristophanes' Comic Apocalypse" Louise Cowan in The Terrain of Comedy (1984) 1

The Plays of Samuel Beckett and the Theatre of the Absurd: "The Theatre of the Absurd" Martin Esslin in Theatre in the Twentieth Century (1956) 29

Catch-22 Joseph Heller: "Catch-22 and Angry Humor: A Study of the Normative Values of Satire" James Nagel in Studies in American Humor (1974) 47

Cat's Cradle Kurt Vonnegut: "Dark Humor in Car's Cradle" Blake Hobby 57

A Clockwork Orange Anthony Burgess: "A Clockwork Orange and the Metaphysics of Slapstick" Matthew J. Bolton 67

On Dark Humor in Literature: "The Comedy of Entropy: The Contexts of Black Humour" Patrick O'Neill in Canadian Review of Comparative Literature (1983) 79

Divine Comedy (Dante Alighieri): "Elements of Dark Humor in Dante's Divine Comedy" Lauren P. De La Vars 105

The Dumbwaiter (Harold Pinter): "When Farce Turns into Something Else: Harold Pinter's The Dumb Waiter" Scott Walters 115

The Stories of Nikolai Gogol and Lolita (Vladimir Nabokov): "Observations on Black Humor in Gogol and Nabokov" Woodin W. Rowe in The Slavic and East European Journal (1974) 127

"A Good Man Is Hard to Find" (Flannery O'Connor): "Clich?s, Superficial Story-Telling, and the Dark Humor of Flannery O'Connor's 'A Good Man Is Hard to Find'" Robert C. Evans 139

Henry IV, Parts One and Two (William Shakespear): "The Rejection of Falstaff" A.C. Bradley in Oxford Lectures on Poetry (1909) 149

"The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" (Thomas Steams Eliot): "Almost Ridiculous': Dark Humor in Eliot's 'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock'" Robert C. Evans 171

A Modest Proposal (Jonathan Swift): "Wood's Halfpence" Leslie Stephen in Swift (1882) 181

The Mysterious Stranger (Mark Twain): "The Mysterious Stranger and '3,000 Years Among the Microbes': Chimerical Realities and Nightmarish Transformations" Patricia M. Mandia in Comedic Pathos: Black Humor in Twain's Fiction (1991) 197

Reservation Blues (Sherman Alexie): "The Saddest Joke: Sherman Alexie's Blues" James A. Crank 219

White Noise (Don DeLillo): "The Dark Humor of White Noise" Joseph Dewey 229

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Edward Albee): "Dark Humor in Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" Kate Falvey 241

"The Yellow Wallpaper" (Charlotte Perkins Gilman): "'Too Terribly Good to Be Printed': Charlotte Gilman's 'The Yellow Wallpaper'" Conrad Shumaker in American Literature (1985) 251

Acknowledgments 263

Index 265

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