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The Poetry of Everyday LifeStorytelling and the Art of Awareness$
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Steve Zeitlin

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781501702358

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501702358.001.0001

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Laughter for Dessert

Laughter for Dessert

Lightness of Being

(p.45) 3 Laughter for Dessert
The Poetry of Everyday Life

Steve Zeitlin

Cornell University Press

The author reflects here on the important role that laughter has played in his life. His brother Murray laughs harder than anyone else he knows—and he caps it off by clapping in wild applause. The author's daughter, Eliza, once quipped: “We had laughter for dessert.” He even imagined a mystery story in which the murderer kills by devising a perfect joke that convulses people with laughter till they die. He also can remember a girl whose infectious laugh inspired a poem entitled Lily. His friend and Ping-Pong partner Bob Mankoff, the cartoon editor of The New Yorker, is a student of humor; he also teaches a class in humor theory at the University of Michigan. And like many long-married couples, he and his wife have developed routines for their own personal comedy team of sorts. The author adds that banter is a key ingredient of folk culture and family folklore.

Keywords:   laughter, humor, comedy, banter, folklore, folk culture

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