The Literary Blog Hop is hosted by The Blue Bookcase and “is open to blogs that primarily feature book reviews of literary fiction,classic literature, and general literary discussion”.
This week’s topic is:
Can literature be funny? What is your favorite humorous literary book?
First, let me say how much I love sad, gut-wrenching literary fiction. The kind that grabs you, choke-hold, by the throat and does not release you until the last word on the last page is read. And we all know how utterly humorless some of the writers of literary fiction are. How serious they can be. I should be climbing the walls in my bedroom. My reading list should make me cranky and morose all the time but I’m not. And that’s thanks to the wickedly comic and utterly funny books mixed in with my sad reads. So, yes, literature can be funny. My earliest encounter of comic literary fiction was Shakespeare’s Henry VI Part One. Oscar Wilde’s plays are also funny and witty.
My favorite humorous books are all satires. I love Heart of a Dog by Mikhail Bulgakov. Most readers know of Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita, which is a masterpiece of 20th century literature. But his novella, Heart of Dog, is a sheer delight. The Soviet ideology called for the creation of a New Soviet Man, a strong selfless, healthy and enthusiastic individual who would gladly support and spread Communist ideology. In the book, a stray dog takes human form and becomes Sharikov, a lazy, crude and narcissistic version of the New Soviet Man. Heart of a Dog is a parable in which Bulgakov condemns the Soviet system. It’s a serious book with much in it to ponder. But you will be in stitches most of the time.
What is your favorite funny book?