Legitimate question: I want to get into some very early forms of comedy in literature.
I hear of some greek authors way back then that would frequently write fart and dick jokes constantly in their classic works.
So /lit/, I ask you, genuinely curious: what are some good examples of crude humour in classic literature?
Pic semi-related: I know Ulysses has a lot of references and humour regarding masturbation.
The man you are asking for is Aristophanes. Then there are Plautus and Terence, but they are Romans and we have very little left of the interim period.
As for Renaissance writers, there are Molière and of course Shakespeare. Rabelais and Cervantes were novelists but the dick jokes are plenty in their works too.
You should be able to work your way up from there
you understand humour too narrowly, you have to understand humor as one understands happy or sad or good or bad or this or that or mist or nats, its all across the tradgedies of the greekers, so you have to see them not in a lol way but in a thinkers laugh way, today its all wiffs and narfs but sometimes it gets to the smarts like bakcthney. All irish jokes are about excriment, but they are told brillantly. Moby Dick si a story of good examples, read with a mind of not a teacher's pet. Shakespeare was funny, know it
So what you're saying is that humour wasn't restricted to comedies and that a lot of the humour I should expect from earlier works is less "haha" funny and more contemplative, abstract or just an appreciation for absurdity?
Thanks, m8s, certainly going to look into all of these fellas.
More recommendations/suggestions are certainly appreciated if anyone has more.
I hear The Cantebury Tales is meant to be good for early humour, I plan on reading that this year sometime.
Not necessarily early literature, and I guess it's arguable if it's considerably classic status too, but because this is a thread about crude gags (I don't think we really see enough threads on /lit/ regarding comedies or humor) : Pynchon uses a lot of dick jokes and dirty limericks in Gravity's Rainbow.
Let's be honest, novelists are not comedians nor should they be regarded as such and speaking up to them as such is the equivalent of praising the literary undertones in norm Macdonalds stand up. Sophomoric all around.
I know this has no merit at all because i can't site it, but I read a quote from a famous novelist saying something to the effect of, 'the worst thing for a novelist is to be classified as a comedic writer because people will always be reading your future works with the expectations of great laughs. so much better to have your readers expect nothing of the sort and be surprised by the comedy'
Obv. not as old as the greeks, like, but if you're up for some good absurdist literature, Mikhail Bulgakov should be essential.
Would recommend Heart of a Dog first. IMO, Bulgakov is a good entry-point into the russians.
In every great work of literature survives a subtle smile directed at the smallness of things.
More directly, Orlando Furioso for the mockery of medieval customs. And Eugene Onegin for Pushkin's irony towards his own inconsequence (which later proved to be wrong, his laurel wreath will shine upon men until the end of the world. but the point stands)
Even if it was from Saint Bloom this statement would be ridiculous and wrong. There's more to comedy than 'he he he' and unless he's talking about beach readers and Oprah's book club members, I'm pretty sure readers can make a work stand by itself and appreciate it for what it is.
###1: never underestimate readers' sensibility
the exeter book has some ambiguous riddles, like this one.
I am a wondrous creature for women in expectation, a service for neighbors. I harm none of the citizens except my slayer alone. My stem is erect, I stand up in bed, hairy somewhere down below. A very comely peasant's daughter, dares sometimes, proud maiden, that she grips at me, attacks me in my redness, plunders my head, confines me in a stronghold, feels my encounter directly, woman with braided hair. Wet be that eye.