Encyclopaeaeaedia

May 3, 2012 § Leave a comment

For our fun this weekend, I’m providing a link to an Encyclopedia Britannica entry on humor from 1928, written by our very own patron saint, GK Chesterton.  Tracing the history of the word and the phenomenon itself, the article is chock full of insightful details and little witties in the piece.  I’m intrigued by this idea of celebrity authored encyclopedia entires, and while it is cruel to compare anyone’s prose to GK’s, the wikipedia entry’s prose-by-commitee pales in comparison.  I admire the democratic nature of wikipedia, but am saddened they’d have to take down insights like this to keep it up.

Humour, like wit, is related however indirectly, to truth and the eternal virtues; as it is the greatest incongruity of all to be serious about humour, so it is the worst sort of pomposity to be monotonously proud of humour; for it is itself the chief antidote to pride; and has been, ever since the time of the Book of Proverbs, the hammer of fools.

I guess these days we just have to leave this sort of editorializing to the blogs.

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