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How to Tell a Joke: An ancient guide to the art of humor


How to Tell a Joke: An ancient guide to the art of humor

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SKU: 9780691206165 Category: Product ID: 194747


Title: How to Tell a Joke: An ancient guide to the art of humor
Publication date: 01/06/2021
Price: $30.00
Publishing status: Active

Can jokes win a hostile room, a hopeless argument, or even an election? You bet they can, according to Cicero, and he knew what he was talking about. One of Rome's greatest politicians, speakers, and lawyers, Cicero was also reputedly one of antiquity's funniest people. After he was elected commander-in-chief and head of state, his enemies even started calling him \”the stand-up Consul.\” How to Tell a Joke provides a lively new translation of Cicero's essential writing on humour alongside that of the later Roman orator and educator Quintilian. The result is a timeless practical guide to how a well-timed joke can win over any audience.

As powerful as jokes can be, they are also hugely risky. The line between a witty joke and an offensive one isn't always clear. Cross it and you'll look like a clown, or worse. Here, Cicero and Quintilian explore every aspect of telling jokes-while avoiding costly mistakes. Presenting the sections on humour in Cicero's On the Ideal Orator and Quintilian's On the Orator's Education, complete with an enlightening introduction and the original Latin on facing pages, How to Tell a Joke examines the risks and rewards of humour and analyses basic types that readers can use to write their own jokes.

Filled with insight, wit, and examples, including more than a few lawyer jokes, How to Tell a Joke will appeal to anyone interested in humour or the art of public speaking.

'Though I had some quibbles with the Latin translation, largely because I don't read Latin, I agreed with the two-millennium-old rules on humor. Or maybe it's 'two millennia.' I should probably learn some Latin.' Joel Stein, humorist and author of In Defense of Elitism

'This book is a delight! Humor can be one of the hardest things to translate, but How to Tell a Joke makes the jokes and insights of two of antiquitys finest writers on humor accessible to a modern audience. Bravo!' Julia D. Hejduk, Baylor University

'Providing highly readable, lively, and fresh translations of Cicero and Quintilians classic writings on humor, How to Tell a Joke also features a crisp introduction that shows the relevance of their ideas for appreciating humor in the twenty-first century.' Luca Grillo, University of Notre Dame

Series: Ancient Wisdom for Modern Read
ISBN: 9780691206165
Dimension: 171mm X 114mm

Additional information

Dimensions 171 × 114 mm