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The centre of hilarity: A play upon ideas about laughter and the absurd Hardcover – 1959


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 266 pages
  • Publisher: Sheed & Ward (1959)
  • ASIN: B0000CK9H0
  • Product Dimensions: 23.9 x 16.3 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,073,515 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Omar Sabbagh VINE VOICE on 9 July 2004
Format: Hardcover
This work is a beautifully written and original discussion of, ultimately, the importance of acceptance. The central idea, discussed with relation to Shakespeare, Lawrence, Eliot and Chesterton amog others, is that, as opposed to the modern secular, 'titanist' attempt to critique existence and develop the grounds of existence out of human culture, the more common sensical and healthy approach is to recognise that there is something before and beyond the human intelligence that that intelligence is dependent on- God. Human culture and critique in general could not even get off the ground if we didn't exist first and if we didn't possess reason as part of that existence. The attempt to prove our existence and the relevance of our thought (in epistemology) is the attempt of the human creature, who is by defininition limited and imperfect, to become a God. As Chesterton highlighted again anad again the consequence of this attitude is mental disorder. Humour, the absurd and playfullness are utlimately the background enveloping any tragic and ultimately private worldview. They are the symptoms of a realistic humility. Implicitly, existence is Good- otherwise we wouldn't be in a position to amke any value or literary judgment. This work is brilliant and fascinating, skipping across disciplines and eras elegantly. I recommend it to anyone interested in the poetics of common sense. Highly accessible and yet academically engaged. I benefited enormously from this work, not only in my understanding of the literary personages discussed, but in my whole outlook.
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