Thursday, January 28, 2010

Tickling Funnybones.

I’m a natural comedian. And my writing reflects this. I am not a dark character and personality wise I’ve that kind of nature with the glass half full.

But I’m also dramatic. I think the two go perfectly together, hand in hand. There’s something about pathos, like black and white, ying and yang that combines the overall effect together.

Irony also lends itself well to comedy.

(Charlie Chaplin knew this so well.)

But comedy needs to be well done. It’s dangerous ground unless you are supremely confident because it can so easily descend into the grossly ridiculous.

Perhaps that is why I love Jane Austen so much. She had such a sublime sense of comedy. Subtle, like pearls with a little black dress in that Audrey Hepburn way. And one of the best opening pieces… which I had recourse to refer to only yesterday, which is both enlightening, as in summarising the essence of her novel and loaded with the subtle promise of an ironic and light hearted romp… promise being the key word because at no point in the ensuing novel does the promise let the reader down, and now just look at this little gem, the jewel in the tiara:

It is a truth, universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.

Then in a supreme little spoonful she nudges the reader further into her novel:

However little known, the feelings or views of such a man may be on his first entering a neighbourhood,

In other words the poor bastard won’t know what hit him and look at this slam/dunk:

This is so well fixed in the minds of the surrounding families, that he is considered as the rightful property of some one or other of their daughters.

Signed, sealed, delivered to the slaughter.

Isn’t it funny, but Austen still fits in today. Comedy can be a victim of it’s time because what we find funny in one generation, can be lost to another. I think people in today’s world have lost a lot in the current politically correct atmosphere of overcautiousness not to touch sensibilities of elements of society.

But then good comedy, well done, perhaps doesn’t have a use-by date.

Google “Who’s on first base” and you will see what I’m getting at.

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