THE ORIGINS OF WIT AND HUMOR by Albert Rapp

THE ORIGINS OF WIT AND HUMOR

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KIRKUS REVIEW

An entertaining quasi- philosophical-sociological attempt to bring to heel the yock and titter. With a few slight bob to Mr. Bergson and Mr. Freud and the big boys, the author equates laughter with the shout of victory as one cave man clipped another on the head with a club. Thence the three great ""laughter families"" -- ridicule, wit and ""suppression laughter"". The author examines in turn ridicule -- in which the physical victory is replaced by a vicarious one, and the observer crows at a victim's black eye in remembrance of a victory, deliberate ridicule in which ""art"" is in evidence, and finally humor where ridicule is coupled with affection; wit, a competition or duel expressed in riddles, conundrums, puns and repartee; and ""suppression laughter"" supplying the pleasure of ""thrashing laughter"" against suppressed desires. It is dotted throughout with rather painful examples of quips and gags. Withall, however, good reading for the layman and the drawings by Ted Kay of B fame are wonderful. Material first appeared in psychological journals.

Publisher: Dutton