Zweibel Wins the Thurber
Posted by: Keir Graff
The results aren’t on the Thurber House site yet, though, so here’s the Washington Post article.
Writing humor has got to be the toughest kind of writing there is. If an author writes serious literary fiction and readers don’t understand it, the readers are just as likely to wonder what’s wrong with them (“Am I missing something?”) as they are to wonder what’s wrong with the author (“Why does he confound longwindedness with profundity?”). But if an alleged comedy doesn’t make readers laugh, readers never question their own sense of humor. They just think the writer isn’t funny. A response to a joke is immediate and inarguable–reflex, not reason. You can’t puzzle through something and decide it’s funny later. Well, you can, but you’re not likely to laugh out loud once you do.