Why are jokes funny? Why do we laugh? In Funny Peculiar, Mikita Brottman demurs from recent scholarship that takes laughter-- and the broader domain of humor and the comical--as a liberating social force and an endearing aspect of self-expression. For Brottman, there is nothing funny about laughter, which is less connected to mirth and feelings of good will than to a nexus of darker emotions: fear, aggression, shame, anxiety. Brottman rethinks not only the mechanisms of humor but also the relation of humor to the body and the senses. To this end, she provides an engrossing account of the life and work of Gershon Legman, exiled author, publisher, and sexologist, Alfred Kinsey's first bibliographer, and legendary compiler of the dirty joke. Like Freud, Legman was convinced of the impossibility of understanding humor apart from sex, and Brottman shows how his two massive works on the subject, Rationale of the Dirty Joke and No Laughing Matter, provide a framework for understanding the ambivalent and often hostile impulses that underlie the comic impulse in its various guises. In lively and enlivening chapters, she traverses dirty jokes, the figure of the "evil clown" in popular culture, the current popularity of "humor therapy," changing fashions in stand-up comedy, and the connection between humor and horror. Brottman's sparkling prose, laced with wit, does not obscure the seriousness of Funny Peculiar. It is a thoughtful and wide-ranging elaboration of the Freudian claim that joking, in point of fact, is no laughing matter.
With free audio sampler In 2001 Will Young shot to fame as the first winner of Pop Idol. It was clear from the start that he would never be a typical pop star - and more than ten years later he has become one of our best-loved and most intriguing artists. From his dramatic experiences on Pop Idol; to coming out in the glare of the media spotlight; to his valiant struggles against depression; to the crazy reality of being famous, Will is open about both the highs and lows of his life. He also provides sound and practical advice on dealing with the DVLA helpline - something that has been woefully neglected by all other celebrity memoirs. If you have ever wondered what it's like to attend a fashion show (and find yourself accidentally waving at Anna Wintour); how it feels to sing in front of thousands while fighting a catastrophic bout of low self-esteem; or be subjected to the terror that is a This Morning 'makeover', then Funny Peculiar reveals all. It also reveals what not to say if you ever meet David Beckham. Moving, witty and scrupulously honest, Funny Peculiar is a refreshingly different and fascinating autobiography by a true original.
Benny Hill`s saucy smirks at underdressed women are relished the world over. Yet the comedian cut an unlikely figure of global admiration: unmarried and emotionally enfeebled in his few relationships, he was a deeply private individual uninterested in the trappings of success, a frugal man content to live in his humble childhood home flooded, freezing and burgled while his building society account bulged with millions of pounds he didn`t use and hadn`t wanted to earn. Funny, Peculiar is the first objective and full account of Benny Hill`s life and work. Tenaciously researched and yet sensitively reported, it charts the highs, lows and many paradoxes of a man whose professional strengths-observation, impression and mime-bought him unimagined success, and whose weakness, especially an inability to change, fashioned his ultimate downfall. - First in-depth biography since Benny`s death in April 1992. - A return to favour with audiences who are jaded with `alternative comedy`. - Existing biographies are unreliable, lightweight and out of date. - Benny has been screened in 109 countries, and enjoyed for over 50 years
Did you know that if John Wayne was playing poker and a card was turned face up by accident, he made the person responsible stand up and circle the table three times? That Catherine the Great was so terrified of people finding out she had dandruff that she imprisoned her hairdresser in an iron cage? That Thomas Jefferson, third president of the United States, invented the coathanger? That Elizabeth I passed a law taxing men with beards? That Arthur Conan Doyle believed he would be resurrected 10 days after his death at the Albert Hall and 10,000 people turn up to witness the event.
This lively anthology brings together two kinds of funny: humorous poems that make you laugh or smile (funny ha-ha), and strange, surreal, witty or plain weird poems (funny peculiar). There has always been a tradition of comic and curious verse in English poetry, but in contemporary poetry the peculiar has come into its own, as this surprising selection shows. Presented in a hardback version of the giftbook format used for other shorter Bloodaxe anthologies aimed at a popular readership, Funny Ha-Ha, Funny Peculiar covers a wide variety of highly entertaining or provocatively engaging poets.
Peering into the often unnoticed corners of life, Kevin Brockmeier has been consistently praised for the originality of his vision, the boundlessness of his imagination and the command of his craft. Once again, in this new collection of fiction, Brockmeier shows us a fantastical world that is intimately familiar but somehow distant and beautiful. From the touching title story, where a young, antisocial woman imagines her escape into the sky with an apparition only she can see, to the haunting story of a pastor tempted by something less than divine, Brockmeier moves effortlessly from the extraordinary to the everyday, while challenging us to see the world anew. Stunning, elegant, profound, and playful, The View from the Seventh Layer cements Kevin Brockmeier's place as one of the most creative and compassionate writers of his generation. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Have you ever wondered why some animals look or behave the way they do? "Peculiar Penguins and Funny Looking Frogs" answers some of those questions. Drawing on information from many different scientific disciplines and expert opnions from leading authorities, we travel back through evolution to learn about the forces that shaped some of the creatures that share our world. No special training required! Anyone with an interest in wildlife and evolution should find this book interesting and entertaining.
In this wonderful short book, acclaimed author Stephen Frosh interrogates the terrain of feelings and asks how this ‘hidden’ dimension of the self helps shape our worlds. The book provides an accessible and thought-provoking introduction to the major debates around feelings in the modern world.
More than five thousand quotations, that range in time from Scott's Antarctic expedition in 1912 to the attack on the World Trade Center in 2001, are gathered in a comprehensive, updated resource that evokes a fascinating picture of the social, political, cultural, and scientific highlights of modern times.