"A Triumphant Display of Detachment Toward the Inevitability of Damage

Here’s Gabe Gudding in “The Dangerfield Conundrum : A Roundtable on Humor in Poetry” led by Rachel Loden and K. Silem Mohammad — now in Jacket 33:

I mean, a clown is someone who purposefully and theatrically makes a show of debasing herself by showcasing that innate damage: a clown takes on and “owns” her own flaws and wounds — and flaunts them so triumphantly that we, the audience feel on the one hand, superior to the clown and on the other we vicariously appreciate the courage of that clown for being so triumphant and skillful in the face of said flaws (big nose, funny moustache, whathaveyou — yet funny, awkwardly brave, and finally buoyant). In the case of a verbal clown [humorous poet], that “flaw,” that damage, comes in the form of buoyant nonsense, anarchic satire, tawdry rhyming, or incessant non-sequitur:


In other words, maybe humor is a triumphant display of detachment toward the inevitability of damage.

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