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The Big Book of Irony
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Graydon Carter famously pronounced it dead after 9/11. David Foster Wallace decried it as "an agent of despair and stasis in U.S. culture," but admitted liking it anyway. Jon Stewart uses it daily to engage a jaded generation in politics. Yet irony is less understood now than ever. Enter "The Big Book of Irony", wherein Winokur, that master compiler of witty compendia, parses the various forms of irony; verbal irony (the act of saying one thing and meaning another), auto-irony (whereby celebrities try to humanise themselves), ambient irony (it's everywhere!), visual irony (in which images contradict themselves) and dramatic irony (the result of letting an audience know something the character's don't). With quotations that run the gamut from Samuel Johnson to George Carlin, a concise history of irony, lists of ironic phenomena, and capsule profiles of such world-class irony mongers as Sacha Baron Cohen, Dave Eggers, and Sarah Silverman, this is a fresh catalogue of the many faces of irony.
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About the Author

JON WINOKUR is the author of a number of reference books and anthologies, including "The Portable Curmudgeon," "Ennui to Go "and "Encyclopedia Neurotica." He lives in Pacific Palisades, California.

Reviews

"This gleefully witty treatise, a playful exploration of irony by someone who has mastered it himself, opens with definitions of irony and explanations of its many forms. Winokur (The Portable Curmudgeon ) then progresses through the "Annals of Irony," dating from 423 B.C.E. to the present, and he bolsters his chapters with generous helpings of quotes from public personages notable for their senses of irony. While he explores the historical aspects of irony, he also cites examples from current masters of the form, e.g., comedians Ali G and Sarah Silverman. Readers who do not appreciate cultural phenomena like Seinfeld or Curb Your Enthusiasm may not care to digest the text fully, but those who enjoy The Onion or The Simpsons should find much entertaining here." --"Library Journal""" ""

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