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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Open Discussions About Writing » Lamentations

   
Author Topic: Lamentations
autumnmuse
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I'm bringing up this topic to discuss the use of humor in writing. Specifically, the use of a particular style of writing to talk about something totally incongruous to it. For example, go here: http://parents.berkeley.edu/jokes/lamentations.html

That is truly hilarious. Other examples are things like HSO's rewrite of his own writing sample in F&F.

Have any of you done things like that or want to try? I don't know, it justs sounds fun to me. But I'm not sure I could pull it off myself.


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onepktjoe
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That was just too funny. How many people saw the face(s) of their own begottens in the act of receiving this from on high?

I'm not sure I could do this type of thing either, but I could certainly amuse myself for hours trying


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MaryRobinette
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Thank you soooo much for posting this link. The author was on Prarie Home Companion years ago and it's one of the few times I actually dropped to my knees I was laughing so hard. He had the perfect liturgical delivery.

I don't think I've tried this sort of pastiche, on the written page, but I have done it on stage. It's hard there, but I think one of the reasons it's harder on the page is because you have to rely completely on language to set the tone. On stage you can use inflection and body language to convey that it's humorous. Even there, we talk about "giving the audience permission to laugh." There has to be a moment when they realize that something is supposed to be funny and then they can laugh. Witness the trouble with my rewrite of HSO's piece on F&F...


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Minister
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Obviously written by a parent of a toddler. Too funny and too in the know not to have been. Thanks for posting that. I'm fascinated by humor of many sorts, but have little ability to produce it on the page (and I rarely tell jokes when I'm preaching either; one of those things that's better left undone if you don't do it well). I'm working on humor in the occassional flash challenge; I'll get the hang of writing it someday, perhaps. Any specific experiments that you have in mind, keep me informed.
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MaryRobinette
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I just found the audio of this, if anyone is interested. http://prairiehome.publicradio.org/programs/19980124/rafiles/19980124_lamentations_14.ram
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dpatridge
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hrm. for some reason that link isn't working for me...
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MaryRobinette
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It made me download the latest RealPlayer software. Maybe that's it?
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dpatridge
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must be. i use firefox and have software installs disabled.
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RFLong
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I'm printing this out and sticking on the fridge.

From now on it will be law in our house!


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