The animals that depend on instinct have an inherent knowledge of the laws of economics and of how to apply them; Man, with his powers of reason, has reduced economics to the level of a farce which is at once funnier and more tragic than Tobacco Road.
(James Thurber (1894-1961), U.S. humorist, illustrator. Included in Clifton Fadiman, I Believe: The Personal Philosophies of Certain Eminent Men and Women of Our Time (1939). Forum and Century (June 1939).)
It is not funny that anything else should fall down; only that a man should fall down.... Why do we laugh? Because it is a gravely religious matter: it is the Fall of Man. Only man can be absurd: for only man can be dignified.
(Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936), British author. "Spiritualism," All Things Considered (1908).)