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Thread: What are the Funniest Classic Works of Literature You Have Read?

  1. #16
    Registered User Jackson Richardson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Terror View Post
    Thanks, pal. How are you doing these days? I hope you are well.
    Thatís kind of you, Red. Coping, coping.

    From what I know of you, you might well find P G Wodehouse too gentle. But for what itís worth, The Code of the Woosters is good, but it is a sequel to Right Ho. Jeeves! which has one particularly funny chapter describing the prize giving at Market Snodsbury grammar school, when the teetotaler prize giver has overdone the Dutch courage beforehand.

    I think Red would like Oscar Wildeís The Importance of Being Ernest. I no longer laugh as I just quote lots of it from memory. It has a definitely dark side. Eg:

    Jack: I have lost both my parents, Lady Bracknell.

    Lady Bracknell: To lose one parent may be regarded as a misfortune, Mr Worthing. To lose two looks like carelessness.
    Previously JonathanB

    The more I read, the more I shall covet to read. Robert Burton The Anatomy of Melancholy Partion3, Section 1, Member 1, Subsection 1

  2. #17
    Alea iacta est. mortalterror's Avatar
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    423BC Aristophanes writes Clouds
    422BC Aristophanes writes Wasps
    421BC Aristophanes writes Peace
    414BC Aristophanes writes Birds
    411BC Aristophanes writes Lysistrata
    411BC Aristophanes writes Thesmophoriazusae
    317BC Menander writes The Grouch
    234Ė184 BC Plautus writes The Pot of Gold, Amphytrion, The Haunted House, Miles Gloriosus, The Menaechmus Twins, and Pseudolus
    166BC Terence writes the Girl from Andros
    165BC Terence writes The Mother in Law
    163BC Terence writes The Self-Tormenter
    161BC Terence writes Phormio and Eunuchus
    160BCTerence writes The Brothers
    60 Petronius writes Satyricon
    160 Lucian writes True History
    1400 Geoffrey Chaucer writes Canterbury Tales
    1470 Gian Francesco Poggio Bracciolini publishes his Facetiae the greatest Renaissance joke book
    1498 Triboulet becomes court jester of France
    1501 Stańczyk becomes court jester of Poland
    1510 Hermann Bote writes Eulenspiegel
    1532 Rabelais writes Gargantua and Pantagruel
    1554 Lazarillo de Tormes written by Anonymous
    1565 Andrew Boorde compiles the Jests of Scoggan
    1566 The Merie Tales of Skelton published
    1583-1585 Richard Tarlton is comic for the Queen's Men
    1589 Christopher Marlowe writes The Jew of Malta
    1592 Shakespeare writes The Comedy of Errors based on a work by Plautus
    1593 Shakespeare writes The Taming of the Shrew
    1594 William Kempe joins The Lord Chamberlain's Men
    1597 Shakespeare writes Henry IV part I
    1598 Shakespeare writes Henry IV part II
    1599 Shakespeare writes Much Ado About Nothing
    1600 Shakespeare writes The Merry Wives of Windsor, Robert Armin joins Lord Chamberlain's Men
    1602 Shakespeare writes Twelfth Night
    1603 Shakespeare writes Measure for Measure
    1605 Cervantes writes Don Quixote
    1606 Ben Jonson writes Volpone
    1626 Francisco de Quevedo writes The Swindler
    1664 Moliere writes Tartuffe
    1675 William Wycherley writes The Country Wife
    1676 George Etherege writes The Man of Mode based on his friend John Wilmot
    1677 Aphra Behn writes The Rover
    1684 John Wilmot writes Sodom, or the Quinetessence of Debauchery
    1697 John Vanbrugh writes The Provoked Wife
    1700 William Congreve writes The Way of the World
    1707 George Farquhar writes the Beaux Stratagem
    1722 Ludvig Holberg writes Jeppe of the Hill
    1728 John Gay writes The Beggar's Opera
    1729 John Swift writes A Modest Proposal
    1730 Marivaux writes The Game of Love and Chance
    1738 Harry Woodward joins David Garrick's acting company at Drury Lane
    1743 Carlo Goldoni writes The Servant of Two Masters
    1759 Voltaire writes Candide
    1761 Carlo Gozzi writes Love For Three Oranges
    1764 Thomas Weston acts at Drury Lane
    1773 Oliver Goldsmith writes She Stoops to Conquer starring Ned Shuter
    1777 Richard Sheridan writes The School for Scandal and Thomas King stars in it
    1780 Denis Diderot writes Jacques the Fatalist
    1818 Thomas Love Peacock writes Nightmare Abbey parodying his friends Shelley and Byron
    1836 George Buchner writes Leonce and Lena
    1842 Nicolai Gogol writes The Inspector General
    1876 Mark Twain writes Tom Sawyer
    1878 Gilbert and Sullivan premiere H.M.S. Pinafore
    1879 Gilbert and Sullivan premiere The Pirates of Penzance
    1884 Mark Twain writes Huckleberry Finn
    1885 Gilbert and Sullivan premiere The Mikado
    1889 Jerome K. Jerome writes Three Men in a Boat
    1892 Oscar Wilde writes Lady Windermere's Fan
    1894 George Bernard Shaw writes Candida and Arms and the Man
    1895 Oscar Wilde writes The Importance of Being Earnest
    1911 Ambrose Bierce writes The Devil's Dictionary
    1912 George Bernard Shaw writes Pygmalion
    1961 Joseph Heller writes Catch-22
    1972 Hunter S. Thompson writes Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
    1973 William Goldman writes The Princess Bride
    1979 Douglas Adams publishes the novelization of his Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
    "So-Crates: The only true wisdom consists in knowing that you know nothing." "That's us, dude!"- Bill and Ted
    "This ain't over."- Charles Bronson
    Feed the Hungry!

  3. #18
    Alea iacta est. mortalterror's Avatar
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    Funniest of those: Catch-22, Huckleberry Finn, plays of Aristophanes, The Farce of Sodom.
    "So-Crates: The only true wisdom consists in knowing that you know nothing." "That's us, dude!"- Bill and Ted
    "This ain't over."- Charles Bronson
    Feed the Hungry!

  4. #19
    Wild is the Wind Silas Thorne's Avatar
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    I think maybe Catch 22 or Angela's Ashes for me.

  5. #20
    Registered User Red Terror's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jackson Richardson View Post
    Thatís kind of you, Red. Coping, coping.

    From what I know of you, you might well find P G Wodehouse too gentle. But for what itís worth, The Code of the Woosters is good, but it is a sequel to Right Ho. Jeeves! which has one particularly funny chapter describing the prize giving at Market Snodsbury grammar school, when the teetotaler prize giver has overdone the Dutch courage beforehand.

    I think Red would like Oscar Wildeís The Importance of Being Ernest. I no longer laugh as I just quote lots of it from memory. It has a definitely dark side. Eg:

    Jack: I have lost both my parents, Lady Bracknell.

    Lady Bracknell: To lose one parent may be regarded as a misfortune, Mr Worthing. To lose two looks like carelessness.
    Thanks. Good.
    I read that Wilde play in college. I remember it had a great deal of wit and I also remember liking it a lot and had a good time reading it.

    By the way, I just finished reading the first chapter of Scoop. I expect to continue. Ciao.
    There has never been a single, great revolution in history without civil war. --- Vladimir Lenin

    There are decades when nothing happens and then there are weeks when decades happen. --- Vladimir Lenin

  6. #21
    Registered User Jackson Richardson's Avatar
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    More from Ernest:

    The good ended happily and the bad ended unhappily. That is the meaning of fiction.

    Brilliant.

    I can't imagine you'd care for a novel about English eccentric aristocrats (although with scenes on the Communist side of the Spanish Civil War) so you might not like Nancy Mitfords's The Pursuit of Love.

    However Nancy's sister, Jessica, thought it was very funny as an account of their childhood and Jessica was a member of the American Communist Party during the McMarthy era, so you might be interested.

    (Two of their other sisters were both Fascists. The Mitfords were an extraordinary family.)
    Previously JonathanB

    The more I read, the more I shall covet to read. Robert Burton The Anatomy of Melancholy Partion3, Section 1, Member 1, Subsection 1

  7. #22
    Registered User Jackson Richardson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mortalterror View Post
    1818 Thomas Love Peacock writes Nightmare Abbey parodying his friends Shelley and Byron...

    1878 Gilbert and Sullivan premiere H.M.S. Pinafore
    1879 Gilbert and Sullivan premiere The Pirates of Penzance..

    1885 Gilbert and Sullivan premiere The Mikado
    I don't think mortalterror and I have the same sense of humour (no Jane Austen) but I'm glad to see a mention of Thomas Love Peacock who I read when a teen (I was an atypical teenager) and I really like. Nightmare Abbey is the one I'd recommend. He probably appeals to me because of his combination of conservative social tastes with radical political sympathies. They are far from realistic novels, but with a definite ironic take on life.

    And Gilbert has a far darker and cynical side than his cosy fuddy duddy reputation:

    "I always voted at my party's call:
    I never thought of thinking for myself at all." (Pinafore)

    "I often wonder in my artless Japanese way why it is I am so much more attractive than other women. Can this be vanity? No! Nature glories in her beauties. I am a child of Nature and I take after my mother." (Mikado)
    Previously JonathanB

    The more I read, the more I shall covet to read. Robert Burton The Anatomy of Melancholy Partion3, Section 1, Member 1, Subsection 1

  8. #23
    Maybe YesNo's Avatar
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    I found Thomas Love Peacock's Nightmare Abbey online and have been reading it. I don't know why it seemed to say "Read Me!" in mortalterror's list, but I do enjoy the "melancholy".

    I also thought Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice was rather funny, but I never finished it. Anita Loos' Gentlemen Prefer Blondes is pretty good. Another piece of humor written by a female. I don't know if it is a "classic" work.

  9. #24
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    I enjoyed "Good Omens" by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratched
    A funny and serious reflection about the forces of good x the forces of evil. x
    "You can always find something better than death."
    Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, The Bremen Town Musicians

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