Monday, July 10, 2023

Getting Serious About Humor: Using A Format While Writing Humor

I'd heard of Texts From Jane Eyre by Mallory Ortberg (Daniel M. Lavery) some time ago and was delighted to stumble upon it earlier this summer. Texts From Jane Eyre is not a memoir. It is not fiction. It is humorous interactions between known literary characters, who are not necessarily humorous in their original incarnations. 

Oh, and these interactions are also all written as texts.

How funny you find these texts will probably be determined by how familiar you are with the original books that inspired them. The Cormac McCarthy and Atlas Shrugged texts were pretty much lost on me. However, I'm not that knowledgeable about Wuthering Heights and thought those texts were hysterical. I don't even like Harry Potter and those texts were not just good but addressed some issues I have with those books. 

I think this book would be a hit in high school and college libraries where there are plenty of people reading books with the characters texting here. Also, a good gift for English majors.

My Hermit Crab Argument

I am going to argue that Texts From Jane Eyre is written using a hermit crab format. By which I mean the author borrows a form from a particular type of writing the way hermit crabs borrow shells. I will say more about this someday in the future, either here or somewhere else.

If Jane Austen Got Feedback From Some Guy In A Writing Workshop  by Shannon Reed is another humor piece I believe uses a hermit crab form.

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