November 15, 2007

For the Sake of Comedy

"Humor in the ghettos and camps was a psychological response to danger and oppression; it functioned as both a coping mechanism and a means of resistance. As a literary device it has lent credibility to witness literature and functioned aesthetically to make the unfathomable accessible to the minds and emotions of the reading public."

Cory, Mark. "Comedic Distance in Holocaust Literature." Journal of American Culture 18.1 (Spring 1995): 35-40. MLA International Bibliography. EBSCO. Reeves Memorial Library, Greensburg, PA. 15 November 2007.

Humor (or even more so laughter) is a defense mechanism. I've used it before, I admit. In Holocaust literature it isn't so different.

If Holocaust literature didn't include comedy, I doubt it would be read as fully. Comedy makes everything more substantial, just as looking at an individual's tale helps more than statistics ever could. Comedy keeps it real.

I think that is the role of the comedy in literature - during the actual event (thank goodness I don't know for sure) I think it helped to maintain the distance and make it into the absurd.

Posted by Diana Geleskie at November 15, 2007 12:09 PM | TrackBack
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