I've said it before, and I'll say it again...
Posted by Helen on May 04, 1998 at 16:27:09:
In response to Comedy, written by Linden on May 04, 1998 at 02:23:13
] What's comedy? Is it just stuff that makes people laugh?
I think that there are two specific things going on in JA: one is "comedy" (ie. humour/farce/satire/ridicule/irony etc etc). The other is "romance" - not slushy love scenes, but the sense of things turning out happily - what my dear friend Philip Sidney calls a "golden world" atmosphere... This, I guess, corresponds to your two basic definitions. C.S. Lewis, in I think the Screwtape Letters, calls them "delight" and "joy". The trouble is, people have argued for years over which of the two is really "better": the more sceptical people tend to prioritize satire/farce, while those of a more gentle disposition love the happy-ever-after side. So I think the brilliance of JA is that she balances (it's that word again ;-)) the two kinds of comedy together: we get everything from jokes to satire to passages which are emotionally satisfying to read.
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