black humor


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Related to black humor: Dark humor, Dry humor

black humor,

in literature, drama, and film, grotesque or morbid humor used to express the absurdity, insensitivity, paradox, and cruelty of the modern world. Ordinary characters or situations are usually exaggerated far beyond the limits of normal satire or irony. Black humor uses devices often associated with tragedy and is sometimes equated with tragic farce. For example, Stanley Kubrick's film Dr. Strangelove; or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1963) is a terrifying comic treatment of the circumstances surrounding the dropping of an atom bomb, while Jules Feiffer's comedy Little Murders (1965) is a delineation of the horrors of modern urban life, focusing particularly on random assassinations. The novels of such writers as Kurt Vonnegut, Thomas Pynchon, John Barth, Joseph Heller, and Philip Roth contain elements of black humor.
References in periodicals archive ?
Su finds out the influence of existentialism upon black humor and approaches the topic on a level of ontology.
There is another reason why I began with the black humor episode from the wake of Katrina.
The town has come alive and fought a cathartic cleansing game of words through verbal rituals native to Afro-American culture and alien to the white world and, consequently, to the white audience, since as Levine writes, black humor presupposes "a common experience between the joke-teller and the audience" and it functions "to foster a sense of particularity and group identification by widening the gap between those within and those outside of the circle of laughter" (359).
Oe, winner of the 1994 Nobel Prize for Literature, was praised for the black humor in his novels.
A true story, one redolent with black humor that, while certainly extreme, may offer a perceptive commentary on marriage in our times, even though "going along to get along" was far more typical in years past.
His irreverent, often black humor, which bared a variety of human foibles, built upon a tradition of kinetic wit begun by Charles Weidman, and continued in the work of Katherine Litz, Paul Taylor, and Jamie Cunningham.
We are right there among the cadavers as students learn anatomy and hone the black humor that shields against their revulsion over slicing body parts.
Although the French Surrealist Andre Breton published his Anthologie de l'humour noir ("Anthology of Black Humor," frequently enlarged and reprinted) in 1940, the term did not come into common use until the 1960s.
Schleiner offers the counter-examples of Campanella and Luther, both of whom support his claim that "the early humanist enthusiasm for the black humor gives way in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries to the introduction of subdistinctions that cast doubt on the high estimation of melancholy" (32).
Further into her narrative, the danger of the work became a source for black humor instead of terror.
These were generally psychological hair - raisers laced with black humor, focusing on the adventures of a persecuted (or paranoid) hero.
Spanish critic MasCarello of Paradoxo says Shua "masterfully employs black humor" in her satirical and dramatic work.