An approach to laughter in Italian literature

Tyumen State University Herald. Humanities Research. Humanitates


2019, Vol. 5. №2

An approach to laughter in Italian literature

For citation: Marillaud P. 2019. “An approach to laughter in Italian literature”. Tyumen State University Herald. Humanities Research. Humanitates, vol. 5, no 2, pp. 48-74. DOI: 10.21684/2411-197X-2019-5-2-48-74

About the author:

Pierre Marillaud, Dr. of Linguistics, Associate Researcher, University Toulouse-Jean Jaurès (France); Inspector of the Honorary Academy;


The Italians made the whole world laugh, whether with their theater, their cinema or their literature. It is this laughter in Italian literature that we wanted to make a non-exhaustive approach, because it often overflowed the boundaries of the “bottom” and influenced to a great extent the neighboring literature, particularly French literature.

The Latin poet Horace spoke of italium acetum (Satires 1-7-32), because this laugh was often cruel. In Italy, the country where people often go for professional reasons and also for pleasure, everything is made fun of, including beloved ones, and it is through laughter and derision that the Italians triumph disenchantment and disillusionment.

Our article proposes an approach to some very famous Italian authors, starting with Boccaccio (1313-1375) up to immense Dario Fo, the laureate of the Nobel Prize in Literature, whose devastating laugh makes tremble all those who flirt with the fascism and the Nazism, and the brilliant novelist and semiotician Umberto Eco who did not hesitate to make fun of famous intellectuals of his contemporaries, by pastichant. We give an excerpt from the text in which he mocked another semiotician, A. J. Greimas...!


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