What's So Funny?

The range of modern writing on laughter is truly daunting. My own university library holds around 150 books with "laughter" somewhere in the title, all published in English in the first decade of the 21st century. Leaving aside assorted memoirs, novels, and collections of poetry that managed to squeeze the word into the subtitle (Love, Laughter and Tears in Paris at the World’s Most Famous Cooking School and the like), these books range from popular psychology and self-help manuals, through the philosophy of humor and the anatomy of the joke, to the history of the chuckle, the chortle, the snigger, and the giggle in almost any period or place you can imagine, right back to the origins of laughter in the caves of primitive humans.
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