August 6, 2009

The Laugher

I've always loved the opening paragraph of Heinrich Böll's The Laugher.

"When someone asks me what business I am in, I am seized with embarrassment: I blush and stammer, I who am otherwise known as a man of poise. I envy people who can say: I am a bricklayer. I envy barbers, bookkeepers, and writers. All these professions speak for themselves. They need no lengthy explanation, while I am forced to reply to such questions: I am a laugher. Then I am always asked, "Is that how you make your living?" Truthfully I must say, "Yes." I actually do make a living at my laughing, and a good one, too. My laughing is - commercially speaking - much in demand. I am a good laugher, experienced. No one else laughs as well as I do. No one else has such command of the fine points of my art."

posted at 01:34 AM by raul

Filed under: noted

TAGS: Heinrich Boll (1) laughing (1) professions (1)


08/09/09 04:39 PM

I assume one must be born a laugher. Not the kind of thing that can be studied or learned huh?

10/13/09 10:05 PM

Currently rereading Heinrich Boll's The Clown. I love his characters, and the sort of precise, sad way he writes them.

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