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About Me:18-year-old sixth form student, studying English Literature, History and Government and Politics. My articles will broadly cover topics from the current affairs of politics to reviews of books and albums, as well as adding my own creative pieces, whether it be short fiction or general opinion.
In defence of humour. For it must be defended. Or maybe the attack, which it comes under, is bludgeoned by its smile. As everything is. It need only take a snide remark, a sniggle, a raspberry, a raised eyebrow, a cross of the eyes, a tickle, a peak-a-boo, a recount of a memory, a stick out of the tongue, a wink, a smile, not so much a joke (as wit is always the victor should it have a battle with solitary one-liners) to alight a tenderness on the heavy heart, to attenuate the pain of severity. For every part of life has its counter-balance; let not the dictators, enforcers of any which rule circumscribe you in their mode of seriousness. Let them accuse you of facetiousness if they wish, let their face go all sanguine, but make sure you always remember to giggle at how it resembles a tomato, or a lollipop, or a an expanding balloon, or like one of them cartoons you used to watch with the smoke piping out of the ears. Take solace in that your eyes may water and overflow with tears, your lip may quiver at the same time as you try with all your might to hold in your roaring laughter – this isn’t suppressed humour, it cannot be suppressed. Always attack it with a smile.
The ‘initial throbs’ of this piece, as Vladimir Nabokov would say, came from, as it does to anyone who eventually comes to appreciate humour, a moment of seriousness or solemnity in their life. You may feel yourself trapped in a situation, whether it be grief, stress or just that hard-to-articulate dull sadness that doesn’t seem to escape. You may notice in such situations that there will be those who will say ‘this is not the time to joke’ or ‘how can you laugh at such a situation?’ Well, in fact, this is just the perfect time.
As Hermann Hesse, one of my favourite writers, seeks to illustrate in one of my favourite books, Steppenwolf, humour is fundamental to human existence and is “one of mankind’s only perfect creations in its ability to reconcile the polars of emotion”. In this novel, we follow the memoirs of the protagonist Harry Haller, whom believes himself to be a ‘Steppenwolf’, the concept of being half man, half wolf. In this dilemma, we follow Haller and are able to be drawn along his journey towards suicidal thoughts. Haller is, like many others whom believe in such a dichotomy, rather pretentious. So the novel’s main, and somewhat disregarded, part is that of the tract Harry receives. In this tract, we see that there exists an objective commentary on Harry’s life. With such an objective view we are thus pulled out of Harry’s depressive situation and given a chance to look at it holistically. The tract creates a humourous tone in how it simply challenges and deciphers Harry’s mindset, allowing us to see how it is not all bad, his situtation is not exclusive, and really, Harry appears rather childish. What we can take from this is that whatever situation you may be in, there is always a chance to look at it objectively, and to then tint this outlook with humour.
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