Figueroa Dorrego, Jorge and Cristina Larkin Galiñanes, eds.. A Source Book of Literary and Philosophical Writings About Humour and Laughter. The Seventy-Five Essential Texts from Antiquity to Modern Times. New York: Edwin Mellen Press, 2009.

This work is a collection of extracts from a wide variety of sources that illustrate Western thought on the subject of humour and laughter from Antiquity to Late Modernity. The selection of texts includes writings from more than 40 different authors, ranging from the most influential in humour studies (such as Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Descartes, Hobbes, Hutcheson, Kant, Richter, Baudelaire, and Bergson) to others that are less frequently mentioned, such as Demetrius, the Church Fathers, Prynne, Barrow and Morris. These excerpts have been carefully annotated and divided chronologically into three parts, each preceded by an extensive introductory essay which analyzes attitudes to and concepts of humour, laughter and related phenomena within a historical, cultural, and social perspective, outlining developments in thought about these subjects and suggesting potential intertextual connections. The result is a fascinating, invaluable collection of sources that will not only make the topic better known to general and academic readers, but will surely encourage and enable informed discussion of humour-related issues.



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