In the discussion about the distinctions among wit, humor, satire, comedy,
etc., I would bring up what Freud had to say about wit in _Jokes and Their
Relation to the Unconscious_. Jokes, and especially what Freud called
"witz," are an important road to the unconscious, in his formulation. And
he refers to Mark Twain several times in his seminal book. Freud had a
very high opinion of the value of Mark Twain's humor. And it's no
exaggeration to say he found it very profound, important, and valuable. If
we can believe what Freud tells us, jokes and dreams and slips of the
tongue are extremely valuable for what they tell us about the unconscious,
a most important part of our being. As a master of wit, Mark Twain proves
to me his profundity.
(Forgive me--this is the kind of reading I'm doing now in preparation for
writing about it!)
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"I got a rude! I bet you ain't never got no rude!"
--Ernest T. Bass