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Howard Jacobson Biography - Howard Jacobson Comments:

comedy tragedy argument write

It is an irony not lost on novelists that though they inveigh against all characterizations of their work in reviews, in profiles, and even on the covers of their own books, the moment they are invited to describe themselves, they say they would rather not.

I too, would rather not. Except to say that an argument about the nature of comedy—an argument I go on having largely with myself—is at the back of everything I write. The familiar formula, that comedy stops where tragedy begins, is unsatisfactory to me. The best comedy, I maintain, deals in truths which tragedy, with its consoling glimpses of human greatness, cannot bear to face. Comedy begins where tragedy loses its nerve. That's the sort of comedy I try to write, anyway.

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