Thursday, March 3, 2011

Literary Blog Hop: Funny Enough...

Literary Blog Hop

If you’re stopping by from the Literary Blog Hop hosted by The Blue Bookcase, welcome to Your Move, Dickens. I’m Darlyn, a nineteen-year-old Lit major from the Philippines. I blog mainly about classics—novels, short stories, and even retellings.

This week’s question is:

Can literature be funny? What is your favorite humorous literary book?

I find this week’s Literary Blog Hop question really interesting. People usually view literary fiction, classics in particular, as boring. I thought most of them were gloomy with depressing endings. Since I made a conscious decision to really start reading classics, I’ve discovered that the “depressing ending” only applies to a few of them.

Even if the premise of a book sounds boring, a good writer can liven it up and sprinkle a little humor in it. Novels by Jane Austen and Charles Dickens are few of the books that come to mind. I thought the characters from Pride and Prejudice, the Bennet’s in particular, were hilarious, and, although Oliver Twist was a bit draggy, the minor characters, like the bumbling beadle or the thieves, were pretty funny.

If I have to pick a humorous literary book, though, I’d pick Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut. It’s one of the first “humorous” classics that popped into my mind. Vonnegut’s writing is laced with sadness, but there are a lot of funny moments in between. His humor sometimes borders on the ridiculous, but he always manages to surprise me with another joke or a simple, ‘So it goes.’

16 comments:

Amanda said...

There are some great comedic classics out there! The first ones that came to my mind are Catch-22 and Cold Comfort Farm.

Ben said...

Pretty good choice you got there. Vonnegut is probably the most solid humorous writer.

Red said...

Nice choice! Vonnegut absolutely fits the bill as a humorous literary writer, especially when you consider, as you pointed out, the sadness in pieces like Slaughterhouse.

gautami tripathy said...

I have it in my tbr pile. Will read it soon!

Here is my Literary Blog Hop post!

Laura said...

Oh my goodness, Slaughterhouse 5 was pretty hilarious actually! Like, completely mentally funny, but funny nonetheless! Good choice :)

Brenna said...

Nice. I've got Slaughter House Five on my TBR for the classics challenge and I'm looking forward to it!

Zibilee said...

I haven't read too many classics that I would consider funny, but you are right that Dickens has his moments, and Pride and Prejudice could be funny at times too. I really need to read Slaugherhouse Five. My son read it last year, and he totally didn't get it. I think he was just too young to fully understand it.

Eclectic Indulgence said...

I think my top two are:
A Prayer for Owen Meany
http://eclectic-indulgence.blogspot.com/2007/08/end-of-prayer-and-owen-meany.html

Catch-22
http://eclectic-indulgence.blogspot.com/2010/02/catch-22-joseph-heller.html

Owen Meany is the winner by far, but the satire in Catch-22 could sometimes be very tintilizing.

Loni said...

The more time I spend in the blogosphere, the more I find I need to read Slaughterhouse 5.

BookBelle said...

I think it will need to be put on my list. My husband just read it and then we gave it away. I'll have to try to re-acquire it.

LBC said...

Vonnegut is a good one. Sometimes he is a bit absurd, and definitely funny.

See my hop here: http://hawthornescarlet.blogspot.com/2011/03/literary-blog-hop-ha-ha-funny.html

parrish lantern said...

Great choice with Vonnegut, not a great fan of Dickens tho.

Susan (Reading World) said...

Great choices. I just finished re-reading Pride and Prejudice and was reminded just how funny the interactions are and the portrayals of some of the characters are.

petekarnas said...

Vonnegut is a great choice, Slaughterhouse Five was a very, very funny book. I saw Vonnegut speak once, he's also very humorous outside of his novels.

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

An author may sprinkle Literature with Funny, but Funny will never take root and grow in Literature. Impossible.

Here is my post:
http://readerbuzz.blogspot.com/2011/03/welcome-to-literary-blog-hop-hosted-by.html

As the Crowe Flies and Reads said...

Old follower here. It never would have occurred to me that Slaughterhouse 5 would be funny, so that's good to know. My classic answers included Dickens and Austen (wish I would've thought of Chaucer) and my modern answers included Eudora Welty and Jim Harrison.

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