Black Eye talk with Ryan Standfest, Jeet Heer and Onsmith

Black Eye editor Ryan Standfest brought Jeet Heer and Onsmith on for a chat about the anthology and other issues of dark dark humor. This is a smart bunch and a pleasure to chat with.

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2 Responses to Black Eye talk with Ryan Standfest, Jeet Heer and Onsmith

  1. One point I’d like to clarify, which I failed to do during the interview, is the difference between two varieties of Black Humor, with examples.

    1. American (c. 1960): Content leans more toward the broadly satirical and the nihilistic, with presentations of a world-gone-mad; more properly called “black comedy” as it aims to entertain and horrify simultaneously. See: films: “Dr. Strangelove”, “The Loved One”, “Lord Love a Duck”; literature: Joseph Heller, Terry Southern, Nathanael West.

    2. “Bretonian” (c. 1930): content is grotesque, cynical, and often absurd, presenting material in a self-reflexive manner that implicates the reader. This is “black humor proper,” as it delivers the material in a more serious way than “black comedy,” not always resulting in a laugh or any sense of transcendence. It aims for discomfort over release. See: literature: Jonathan Swift, D.-A.-F. de Sade, Alfred Jarry, Franz Kafka, Benjamin Peret; films: Luis Bunuel, Roy Andersson, Marco Ferreri.

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