Quotations About / On: HUMOR
The whimsicalness of our own humor is a thousand times more fickle and unaccountable than what we blame so much in fortune.
(François, Duc De La Rochefoucauld (1613-1680), French writer, moralist. repr. F.A. Stokes Co., New York (c. 1930). Moral Maxims and Reflections, no. 46 (1665-1678), trans. London (1706).)
Humor does not rescue us from unhappiness, but enables us to move back from it a little.
(Mason Cooley (b. 1927), U.S. aphorist. City Aphorisms, Seventh Selection, New York (1990).)
Men will confess to treason, murder, arson, false teeth, or a wig. How many of them will own up to a lack of humor?
(Frank Moore Colby (1865-1925), U.S. editor, essayist. "Satire and Teeth," vol. 1, The Colby Essays (1926).)
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).)
When humor can be made to alternate with melancholy, one has a success, but when the same things are funny and melancholic at the same time, it's just wonderful.
(François Truffaut (1932-1984), French film director. letter, Jan. 15, 1980. Letters (1989, French edition, 1988).)
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).)
I wish the English still possessed a shred of the old sense of humour which Puritanism, and dyspepsia, and newspaper reading, and tea-drinking have nearly extinguished.
(Norman Douglas (1868-1952), British author. South Wind, ch. 32 (1917).)
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).)
I was a modest, good-humoured boy. It is Oxford that has made me insufferable.
(Max Beerbohm (1872-1956), British essayist, caricaturist. More, "Going Back to School," (1899).
Referring to Oxford University.)