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The age of irreverence : a new history of laughter in China

Author: Christopher G Rea
Publisher: Oakland, California : University of California Press, [2015]
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"The Age of Irreverence tells the story of why China's entry into the modern age was not just traumatic, but uproarious. As the Qing dynasty slumped toward extinction, prominent writers compiled jokes into collections they called "histories of laughter." During the first years of the Republic, novelists, essayists and illustrators used humorous allegories to make veiled critiques of the new government. But political  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Criticism, interpretation, etc
History
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Christopher G Rea
ISBN: 9780520283848 0520283848
OCLC Number: 943314640
Description: 335 s. : illustrations ; 24 cm
Contents: Breaking into laughter --
Jokes --
Play --
Mockery --
Farce --
The invention of humor.
Responsibility: Christopher Rea.

Abstract:

Tells the story of why China's entry into the modern age was not just traumatic, but uproarious. The author argues that this period from the 1890s to the 1930s transformed how Chinese people thought  Read more...

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"Rea provides a map to a diverse comedic terrain between the late Qing dynasty and the Year of Humor (1933) that is richly populated with 'whimsical poets, vaudevillian entrepreneurs, renowned Read more...

 
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   schema:description ""The Age of Irreverence tells the story of why China's entry into the modern age was not just traumatic, but uproarious. As the Qing dynasty slumped toward extinction, prominent writers compiled jokes into collections they called "histories of laughter." During the first years of the Republic, novelists, essayists and illustrators used humorous allegories to make veiled critiques of the new government. But political and cultural discussion repeatedly erupted into invective, as critics jeered and derided rivals in public. Farceurs drew followings in the popular press, promoting a culture of practical joking and buffoonery. Eventually, these various expressions of hilarity proved so offensive to high-brow writers that they launched a campaign to transform the tone of public discourse, hoping to displace the old forms of mirth with a new one they called youmo (humor). Christopher Rea argues that this era--from the 1890s up to the 1930s--transformed how Chinese people thought and talked about what is funny. Focusing on five cultural expressions of laughter--jokes, play, mockery, farce, and humor--he reveals the textures of comedy that were a part of everyday life during modern China's first "age of irreverence." This new history offers an unprecedented and up-close look at a neglected facet of Chinese cultural modernity, and discusses its legacy in the language and styles of Chinese humor today.--Provided by publisher." ;
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