Humor as a Survival Technique during Communism in Romania

Miruna Iacob

Abstract


Humour is generally considered a universal feature, but it is also a context-related notion and it may involve the specificity of a certain culture. The present paper attempts to explore the ethics of humor and its subversive nature perceived as a survival technique during the communist regime in Romania, with an emphasis on Ioan Groșan’s short story, The Island. Being in a constant battle with censorship, humour often proves to be a form of dissidence. Critical laughter functions as a corrective, undermining political principles and denouncing their inflexibility aimed at achieving a progressive social degradation. Therefore, a theoretical re-evaluation of the relationship between context and humor will reveal that the latter concept – with its forms and variations – becomes the escape from the gangrenous tissues of totalitarian societies.

Keywords


humour; subversion; totalitarianism; literature; context

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.12697/IL.2017.22.2.11

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ISSN 1406-0701 (print)
ISSN 2228-4729 (online)