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5.0 out of 5 stars Anthology of Black Humour, 10 Aug. 2011
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This review is from: Anthology of Black Humour (Paperback)
Breton's Anthology is a wonderful introduction to a host of humorous writers like Swift, but it's also an introduction to many more that are not generally seen as "humorists" at all like Kafka. The reason for their inclusion in an Anthology of humour is because of the requirement of the present tome, i.e. that it be "black" humour. Black humour for Breton is a "superior revolt of the mind.", that is - where the mind revolts against, and liberates itself, from the repressive Superego. Breton's definition, you see, owes a lot to freud, but he adds to it a social, or "engaged", element - so that black humour is not just a parlor game, or amusement, for those that would allow the id to unbutton its repressed collar for a moment, only to re-button it again before one walks respectfully out into the street. Rather black humor has a very serious social dimension that engages forehead to forehead with the brut of oppression. It does so, as Breton shows through his introductions to each writer, by deploying irony. Swift speaks in the voice of the oppressive land-lord when he makes his "Modest Proposal". It is ironic. It is "black", because it is macabre, grotesque, and, most importantly of all, it is cruel. This cruelty, that is evident in a lot of the passages Breton chose for his Anthology, is important for his idea of "black" (dark) humour, because it exposes the cruelty at work in ordering and maintaining ordered society. When a man is being executed on a cold monday morning for stealing a teapot, he is asked how he feels about his predicament. "What a way to start the week!", is his "superior revolt of the mind".
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5.0 out of 5 stars close to the bone instigators of Black Humour, 29 Mar. 2015
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Great compilation of some known and unknown users of Black Humour in literature and art. The main focus of my Master's Dissertation.
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Anthology of Black Humour
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