Wednesday, May 06, 2009


"This same American critic once congratulated me on inventing the "tragic gag." I did not invent the tragic gag, but I used it as much as possible. The gag is a great find. Here is an example: Charlie Chaplin swallows the whistle and all the dogs follow him. The audience bursts into laughter. With the tragic gag, I don't expect the audience to laugh (if they do, I have failed), but I expect a black silence from them that is almost as violent as laughter."


Blogger Ross Brighton said...

Speaking of tragedy and "black[ness]" in writing, who was it you said that if you want to get a laugh, try and quote Sydney's defence of poesy ("poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world") with a straight face? - I need the quote for an essay I'm working on.

8:43 PM  

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