Contemporary Black Humor Criticism: Technique And Narrative - Essay

Linda Horvay Barnes (essay date 1978)

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Barnes, Linda Horvay. “Literary Production and Reception of Black Humor Fiction and Kurt Vonnegut.” In The Dialectics of Black Humor: Process and Product. A Reorientation Toward Contemporary American and German Black Humor Fiction, pp. 93-100. Berne, Switzerland: Peter Lang, 1978.

[In the following essay, Barnes provides several definitions of black humor, placing it in social and historical context, with special emphasis on the work of Kurt Vonnegut.]

The product is labeled “Black Humor,” and below are examples of the term's usage:

None of these new writers has yet stamped a unique signature on the times. They are...

(The entire section is 4319 words.)

Terry Heller (essay date 1980)

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Heller, Terry. “Notes on Technique in Black Humor.” In Black Humor: Critical Essays, edited by Alan R. Pratt, pp. 197-214. New York, N.Y.: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1993.

[In the following essay, originally published in 1980, Heller writes about the techniques and literary devices used by writers of black humor.]

While critical discussion of Black Humor has produced considerable insight into the attitudes of contemporary writers and the sources of those attitudes in contemporary cultures, there has been relatively little attention to the technical devices which make Black Humor possible. The technique of Black Humor poses special problems because it...

(The entire section is 6191 words.)