Source Book of Literary and Philosophical Writings About Humour and Laughter: The Seventy-Five Essential Texts From Antiquity to Modern Times

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This work is an annotated 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 that 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.


“. . . there is no doubt that this anthology of writings on humour and laughter will prove a work of considerable use to all those interested in the study of humour-related phenomena, be it from a sociological, philosophical or literary point of view, and from a synchronic or diachronic perspective. It is a work of reference of significant value not only because it gathers together in one volume a large amount of material which students and researchers would otherwise have to look for far and wide, but also because the very fact of presenting all these texts together may very well give rise to new directions in the study of the history of humour and laughter.” – Prof. Victor Raskin, Purdue University

“Never before have so many sources usually completely overlooked, even by many otherwise fine surveys of humor research, been gathered and commented upon. This is particularly evident in the selection of passages from the Fathers of the Church in the Middle Ages, in which the evolution of the Church’s attitude toward laughter (and hence humor) evolves from absolute condemnation to reluctant acceptation.” – Prof. Salvatore Attardo, Texas A&M University

“. . . a good anthology like this one is invaluable. It will be useful to historians of literature or literary theory and university teachers in particular, but also to the general reader.” – Prof. Cabs J. Gómez, Universidade da Corufla

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