Jane Austen and Comedy

Jane Austen and Comedy

by Erin Goss (Editor)


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Jane Austen and Comedy takes for granted two related notions. First, Jane Austen’s books are funny; they induce laughter, and that laughter is worth attending to for a variety of reasons. Second, Jane Austen’s books are comedies, understandable both through the generic form that ends in marriage after the potential hilarity of romantic adversity and through a more general promise of wish fulfillment. In bringing together Austen and comedy, which are both often dismissed as superfluous or irrelevant to a contemporary world, this collection of essays directs attention to the ways we laugh, the ways that Austen may make us do so, and the ways that our laughter is conditioned by the form in which Austen writes: comedy. Jane Austen and Comedy invites reflection not only on her inclusion of laughter and humor, the comic, jokes, wit, and all the other topics that can so readily be grouped under the broad umbrella that is comedy, but also on the idea or form of comedy itself, and on the way that this form may govern our thinking about many things outside the realm of Austen’s work.  

Published by Bucknell University Press. Distributed worldwide by Rutgers University Press.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781684480777
Publisher: Bucknell University Press
Publication date: 04/26/2019
Series: Transits: Literature, Thought & Culture 1650-1850 Series
Edition description: None
Pages: 218
Product dimensions: 6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

ERIN GOSS is an associate professor of English at Clemson University in South Carolina. She is the author of Revealing Bodies: Anatomy, Allegory, and the Grounds of Knowledge in the Long Eighteenth Century (Bucknell University Press).

Table of Contents

Abbreviations ix

Introduction: Jane Austen and Comedy Erin M. Goss 1

Part 1 Comic Energy and Explosive Humor

1 Austen, Philosophy, and Comic Stylistics Eric Lindstrom 21

2 Jane Austen: Comedy against Happiness David Sigler 42

3 "Open-Hearted": Persuasion and the Cultivation of Good Humor Sean Dempsey 63

Part 2 (Emma's) Laughter with a Purpose

4 After the Laughter: Seeking Perfect Happiness in Emma Soha Chung 81

5 The Comic Visions of Emma Woodhouse Timothy Erwin 98

Part 3 Comedic Form, Comedic Effect

6 On Austen, Comedy, and Future Possibility Erin M. Goss 127

7 Lost in the Comedy: Austen's Paternalistic Men and the Problem of Accountability Michael Kramp 146

8 Sense, Sensibility, Sea Monsters, and Carnivalesque Caricature Misty Krueger 165

Acknowledgments 181

Bibliography 183

Notes on Contributors 197

Index 199

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