The Literary Book Blog Hop features book bloggers who focus on books with literary merit. Every week a prompt is presented and bloggers answer it, leaving a link to their post at The Blue Bookcase. This week's prompt is:
Can literature be funny? What is your favorite humorous literary book?
A book can certainly be both serious literature and hilariously funny. Literary books don't even need to confine their humor to highbrow irony; they can be as slapstick as Catch 22 or as sarcastic as Slaughterhouse 5. It's hard to pick a favorite, but some of great humorous literature that I've reviewed here include The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Diary of a Nobody. I don't think I'd count the Jeeves books as great literature, since they're a bit too light, but I can't let a post like this go by without mentioning Right Ho, Jeeves and Jeeves in the Morning.
If I were to extend the reach to literary short stories, "A Good Man is Hard to Find" is quite funny (up until the end), "The Open Window" is a classic short joke, and "Bullet in the Brain" made me laugh out loud. Some literary stories aren't all-out humor writing, but include important elements of humor. Examples include "The Overcoat" (aka "The Cloak") by Gogol, "The Dinner Party" by Joshua Ferris, and "The Necklace" by Guy de Maupassant. In these stories, humor is used, like in the plays of Shakespeare, to balance out the negative aspects of the stories and make the tragedies that much more tangible.