Screaming laughing : the functions and varieties of humor in American Holocaust literature / by Frank Katz.
Holocaust novels by American authors were studied for the purpose of analyzing the purposes, functions and varieties of the authors' uses of humor in their approaches to the grim subject of the Holocaust. First, an overview of humor theory and the study of Holocaust literature was given in order to provide background and context for the remainder of the work. This writer then defined and described Jewish humor and looked at its use in Saul Bellow's Mr. Sammler's Planet, particularly at the ways in which stock characters of Jewish humor and the attitude of optimism despite tragedy inform the humor of the novel. This researcher also analyzed the functions of women's humor in Cynthia Ozick's The Shawl, focusing on the ways Ozick uses humor to attack norms and to focus on women's experiences during and after camp life. Furthermore, this writer examined the aggressive nature of the humor of Marcie Hershman's Tales of the Master Race, in particular the ways in which Hershman employs humor to strike out against the oppressive male-created order on behalf of both the men and women of the imaginary town of Kreiswald. Study was also devoted to explaining the reasons for the presence of the very lengthy Leslie Lapidus episode in William Styron's Sophie's Choice. Finally, this researcher looked at and defended the existence of slapstick and farcical humor in Leslie Epstein's King of the Jews.
Record last modified: 2018-05-24 14:02:00
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