movement, movement

Blessed Is He Who Gets The Joke

Posted in books, life, philosophy, quotes by amoslanka on February 25, 2009

Blessed is he who gets the joke.

Frederick Buechner offers this remark in a section of his book, Telling The Truth, on comedy. The book ingeniously illustrates the literary values of tragedy, comedy, and fairy tale behind the gospel story in sequential fashion. I’ve just today completed the section on comedy.

I’ve spent much time and considerable confusion on revelations of tragedy, both before and after reading Buechner. In many respects, it seems he is pulling together a story that is of course, not three stories, but one, and so alive that its tellability is approachable not as three separate forms but as one with any number of angles. 

Whats more, his common themes including the three above as well as the themes of silence and truth quickly find their way beyond the gospel story and into the fabric of existence itself. Wouldn’t this make sense, if one’s belief in the gospel assumes its role stretches far beyond its otherwise immediacy?

It would seem that, according to this interdependence of literary concepts, safe travels through philosophic lands monumented with meaninglessness require a certain sense of not taking things so seriously. In similar fashion, is it not an aged proverb to not take one’s own self so seriously? If the most meaningful bounties that this comical life have to offer are that of love and joyful fellowship, then it seems that, finally, life has a found a way (stubbornly, I might add) of making sense in its own nonsense.

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5 Responses

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  1. Nigel Tomm said, on February 25, 2009 at 2:18 am

    Thanks for analysis.

  2. ash said, on February 25, 2009 at 2:46 am

    i think that jesus himself laughed more than society gives him credit for. and perhaps we should all take that into consideration

  3. wiredtoinspire said, on February 25, 2009 at 11:09 am

    In one paraphrase, Michal 6:8 (&9?) is reworded from “Walk humbly with your God” to “Don’t take yourself too seriously. Take God seriously.” That’s always stuck in my mind . . .

  4. alongthewayy said, on March 1, 2009 at 7:30 am

    Buechner has interesting things to say about stories and the Bible.

    Have you ever read “From Homer to Harry Potter”? It’s about myth and fiction and the Bible and how they all relate to each other. Very interesting book, actually.

    Good quote.

  5. […] the honest questions. It embodies the tragedy that life is built upon and the comic relief that Buechner spoke of when he said “Blessed is he who gets the joke.” I spoke here on my blog last week of feeling ground to a halt, and my thoughts have yet to diverge. […]


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