Saturday, January 7, 2017


Freud felt all jokes at bottom had for their purpose, however hidden, either hostility or exposure—all jokes, in other words, for him are ultimately acts of aggression or derision. I don’t happen to believe that. Michael Krasny quotes Theodor Reik remarking that all Jewish jokes are about “merciless mockery of weakness and failing.” I don’t believe that, either. What I do believe is W. H. Auden saying that the motto of psychology ought to be “Have you heard this one?”

Joseph Epstein, "Jokes: A Genre of Thought"

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