Over yonder they have slapsticks


  • David Ritchie PNCA/ Willamette University




Kierkegaard, humor, moral, choice, Mao


This is the fourth in a series of essays, linked thoughts about change over time; I expect they will become a book. Like many nineteenth century men, Kierkegaard considered one of the choices available to him was the life of an urban wit. Imagine coming from the countryside because agriculture is changing and you wish to escape moral boundaries, which were enforced in part by humorous play. An idle young man who wasn't wealthy? How would he eat? And what might come of this invention? Would there, in a hundred years or so, be a whole posse of folk sitting in cafés writing short stories or thinking existentialism into existence? The second point is that the urban/countryside split with regard to humor should be understood in the context of other changes of mind.

Author Biography

David Ritchie, PNCA/ Willamette University

David Ritchie lives and gardens in Portland, Oregon. He has torn up his lawn and settled for “lightly-tamed wildness.”


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Creative criticism