Against the assault of laughter, nothing can stand. — Mark Twain
Over to Suresh Chandrasekaran
Or this one –
The humour lies all in the metaphors that he uses, so effectively, to evoke laughter. Writing humour requires an imagination that can think in terms of such comic metaphors.
The ability to imagine a person marrying over and over again as jumping from one woman to another like a goat jumps from rock to rock – THAT sort of imagination is needed for humour-writing.
|Uff Ye Emotions|
Exaggeration is something that is used very frequently in writing humour. Back again to the Master–
Notice also the manner of the torture that the person is willing to undergo in order to avoid the other guy. It is this scintillating ability to both use a funny metaphor as well as to convey an exaggerated view of how avoidable the other person was that set P.G. Wodehouse apart as the best humour writer of all times.
Exaggeration would also mean exaggerating the idiosyncrasies of characters. In fact, that is what caricature is all about – exaggerating one particular aspect of a character to comic effect. The immortal characters of Wodehouse are testimony to the great effectiveness with which he managed to do them and, yet, he made them seem like rounded characters which is pure genius.
This was a time when Latin America was in the throes of revolution and P.G. Wodehouse uses his knowledge of that fact to such great comic effect by punning on the word ‘revolution’.
In this case, to even understand the humour, the reader needs to know that the original quote comes from ‘Julius Caesar’ where Shakespeare has Cassius say to Brutus,
The pun on ‘great’ alone would not get as much laughs as the manner in which Wodehouse misquotes Shakespeare.
The biggest boon that a humour writer can have is the ability to describe vividly. Nothing gets a reader to laugh sooner than a piece of writing which evokes a vivid comic image in his mind. I return to one of the earlier descriptions – ‘She looked like a tomato struggling for self-expression’. The vivid imagery can make you laugh all by itself.
Above all else, the humour writer must be gifted with a whimsical mind-set. A mind that looks upon the world at an offset and sees comedy where none exists to anyone else’s eyes.
Which brings me back to where I started. A humour writer has, above all, to have a…sense of humour!
I totally agree that everyone should have a sense of humour even if they don’t write in that genre. Life is healthy and beautiful with laughter all around.Ladies and gentlemen presenting the Blurb of ‘A Dog Eat Dog-food World’ by C Suresh.
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A hilarious pseudo-history of marketing management, which explicitly denies resemblance to any actual history, and which will be horrified if some semblance be found. The story of a man who discovered that the path of life is strewn with treadmills and, if you get on one by mistake, you could keep running all your life to stay in the same place. The story of how a businessman may just be minding his…err…business and the ‘Invisible Hand’ can cause unexpected consequences to arise out of his innocent actions. There is no point blaming the tale for being exaggerated because that is precisely what it seeks to be – an ‘exaggeratio ad absurdum’ of some facets of the world. Anything you learn from the book – be it the basics of marketing management or a satirical view of Society – you do at your own risk.
The tale only dogs the doings of
Spike Fortune who only sought to feed dogs and, later, sought more dogs to feed.
Jerry Fortune who, being fortuneless, gets dragged helter-skelter behind his uncle Spike in the latter’s careening pursuit of commercial success and gets sandwiched between Spike and
Tyke who was Spike’s resident genius on enticing dogs with their wares. He also has to help Spike in his rivalry with
Tom Rich, who is unwillingly dragged into upstaging Spike and tries to do it by teasing the palates of cats, helped by the bumbling efforts of
Jasper Rich who would rather be partying than chasing cats with cat-foods.
Spike Fortune, who, being unable to justify his existence by making money, is obsessed with justifying his existence by spending all his inherited wealth. Lead into the paths of commerce, he discovers that, while it may seem attractive to set out to lose money, the natural consequence of having people consider him a loser was indigestible. Having set out to feed dogs, Spike becomes obsessed with feeding more dogs and, later, having more dogs to feed.
Jerry Fortune, who discovers that there are perils to having your livelihood depend on a benevolent uncle. Tied to his uncle’s coat-tails by a need for sustenance, he is dragged helter-skelter behind Spike in the latter’s careening progress in pursuit of commercial success. Having first been a mere interpreter between his uncle, Spike, and the resident marketing guru, Tyke, he later finds that being in the middle can get very uncomfortable, indeed.
Tom Rich, who had never realized that the easy contempt he had for his schoolboy acquaintance could prove so dangerous. Spike’s meteoric rise in the world of Commerce puts him in a position of either having to prove himself better or have all that contempt come back with usurious interest. He drags his nephew, Jasper, along in pursuit of teasing the palates of cats.
All that Spike and Tom had wanted was to be a winner in their respective businesses and, more importantly, in their own private game of one-upmanship. They had no idea that their humble quest would redraw the contours of Society and set in place principles that both businessmen and Society would live by.
Know The Author – Suresh Chandrasekaran (C. Suresh)
Born on 27 September 1963 in Chennai, Suresh can be a dithering Libran most of the times. A company town upbringing at Neyveli and Engineering at Annamali University, Chidambaram was leavened by management education at IIM-Bangalore and, later, working life at IFFCO, New Delhi. Having decided very early in life to write full-time after securing a financial future – which also incidentally meant that he remained single in order to make it as early as possible – he quit employment at the age of 41 and his consultancy at 43, and returned to Bangalore.
Otherwise, he can be described as a mess of contradictions – a bookworm but avid trekker; alone but never lonely; enjoys solitude but loves company; lazy but a perfectionist, the litany is endless.
Trekking, which side-tracked him from the writing for which he quit his job, is a major passion and he does, at least, one trek in the Himalayas every year in addition to numerous local treks.
He reignited his passion for writing with a fairly popular blog. The blog has been rated among the Top 5 humour blogs in India, twice in succession – in 2014 and 2015 – by BlogAdda, and has also been listed third among the Top Humour Blogs by Baggout.
He also has a short story published in a collection “Uff Ye Emotions” and has edited and written a novelette in an ebook anthology “Sirens spell danger”. He can be reached on Facebook, where he is more active. He does have a twitter handle – @CSuresh16 – but he has no handle on using it regularly.