Laughing at the Darkness: Postmodernism and Optimism in American Humour

Author: McDonald, Paul


Pdf file: 1.04 mb. 145 pages. Printing enabled; copying disabled. Also in ePub and Mobi

Recommend to your librarian

Paul McDonald’s book is the second in our Contemporary American Literature series, edited by Christopher Gair and Aliki Varvogli. Three Formats: PDF, ePub, Mobi.

Given that postmodernism has been associated with doubt, chaos, relativism and the disappearance of reality, it may appear difficult to reconcile with American optimism. Laughing at the Darkness demonstrates that this is not always the case. In examining the work of, among others, Sherman Alexie, Woody Allen, Douglas Coupland, Jonathan Safran Foer, Bill Hicks, David Mamet, and Philip Roth, McDonald shows how American humorists bring their comedy to bear on some of the negative implications of philosophical postmodernism and, in so doing, explore ways of reclaiming value.


CHAPTER ONE: Postmodernism, Humour and Jewish American Ethnic Identity
CHAPTER TWO: Humour and the Social Implications of Postmodernism
CHAPTER THREE: Postmodernism, Humour and American Romanticism

About the author

Paul McDonald is Senior Lecturer in American literature at the University of Wolverhampton, where he is also Course Leader for Creative and Professional Writing. He is the author of ten books, including three collections of poetry and three novels. His academic work includes books
on Philip Roth, and the fiction of the Industrial Midlands. Currently his research focuses on the relationship between humour and the creative imagination, particularly on the function of comedy in poetry. He is also interested in ancient humour, and takes a perverse pleasure in the fact that Googling 'the oldest joke in the world' generates several hundred pages with his name on.

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