Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://une.intersearch.com.au/unejspui/handle/1959.11/1920
Title: Review of Peter Narvaez, 'Of Corpse: Death and Humor in Folklore and Popular Culture': Logan Utah, Utah State University Press, 2003. $US24.95. ISBN 0874215595 (paper)
Contributor(s): Ryan, John Sprott  (author)
Publication Date: 2004
Handle Link: https://hdl.handle.net/1959.11/1920
Abstract: Laughter is often somewhat malicious, being concerned with the fate of other people and their discomforts, incongruous experiences or at some (displayed) awkwardness. This collection of eleven papers is largely concerned with the grim humour or the macabre that is often associated with death and with the sudden (fresh) perception of the incongruous fact of one's mortality. The watching /reflective individual thereby becomes defensive, embarrassed and infinitely more self-aware.For all these papers explore aspects of the seriousness of the convergence between death and of the related mood of grim humour. While the editor's concerns began with his approach to the 'merry wake' in Newfoundland, and to losses of life at sea, he soon came to categorise such stories by the concept of 'religious fatalism', or the deeper understanding of one's frail personal mortality, in short, by a mood that is a varying mix of the serious and the ludic. Thus it - the book- joins a growing number of probing folklore studies from c. 1980 that focus on private and public traditions of death, many concerned - like contemporary legends - with the rapid social changes that have taken place in American culture in that period. The prevailing tones of these collections - and the present one - cover the full gamut from the mild and gentle to the magical, the deeply religious, the tragic and those concerned with specific spaces and with the processes and places of internment.
Publication Type: Review
Source of Publication: Australian Folklore, v.19, p. 278-280
Publisher: Australian Folklore Association
Place of Publication: University of New England, Australia
ISSN: 0819-0852
Field of Research (FOR): 200599 Literary Studies not elsewhere classified
HERDC Category Description: D3 Review of Single Work
Other Links: http://www.une.edu.au/folklorejournal/
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