Quotations About / On:
Oversimplified, Mercier's Hypothesis would run like this: "Wit is always absurd and true, humor absurd and untrue."
(Vivian Mercier (b. 1919), Irish-born U.S. critic, educator. "Truth and Laughter: A Theory of Wit and Humor," The Nation (August 6, 1960).)
Married people should not be quick to hear what is said by either when in ill humor.
(Samuel Richardson (1689-1761), British novelist. First edition, London (1753-1754). Sir Charles Grandison, in Sir Charles Grandison, vol. 4, letter 4, Oxford University Press (1972, repr. 1986).)
Humor brings insight and tolerance. Irony brings a deeper and less friendly understanding.
(Agnes Repplier (1858-1950), U.S. author, social critic. In Pursuit of Laughter, ch. 9 (1936).)
The comic is the perception of the opposite; humor is the feeling of it.
(Umberto Eco (b. 1932), Italian semiologist, novelist. repr. In Travels in Hyperreality, trans. by William Weaver (1986). "De consolatione Philosophiae," (1980).)
It is characteristic of all deep human problems that they are not to be approached without some humor and some bewilderment.
(Freeman Dyson (b. 1923), British-born U.S. physicist, author. Disturbing the Universe, pt. 1, ch. 1 (1979).)
Especially the transcendental philosophy needs the leaven of humor to render it light and digestible.
(Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Thomas Carlyle and His Works" (1847), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 4, pp. 333-334, Houghton Mifflin (1906).)
Humor, however broad and genial, takes a narrower view than enthusiasm.
(Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers (1849), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 1, p. 397, Houghton Mifflin (1906).)
Wise men are not wise at all hours, and will speak five times from their taste or their humor, to once from their reason.
(Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Wealth," The Conduct of Life (1860).)
Everything human is pathetic. The secret source of Humor itself is not joy but sorrow. There is no humor in heaven.
(Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835-1910), U.S. author. Following the Equator, ch. 10 (1897).)
Humor is not a mood but a way of looking at the world. So if it is correct to say that humor was stamped out in Nazi Germany, that does not mean that people were not in good spirits, or anything of that sort, but something much deeper and more important.
(Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951), Austrian philosopher. Culture and Value, entry in 1948, eds. G.H. von Wright with Heikki Nyman (1980).)