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James Wood

The Irresponsible Self

Hay Festival 2004, 
The eminent critic will discuss what makes us laugh in fiction, and explore the differences between comedy in the novel and comedy in other literary art forms. His new book of essays, The Irresponsible Self, argues that the modern novel essentially invented and pioneered a new form of comedy, the tragicomic, and he compares this mixed mode to satire, farce, and vaudeville. There will be copious examples, and many jokes.