Friday, 10 August 2012

Best comic classics in English


A comic classic must be re-readable, must be read spontaneously (and not prescribed in courses), and must be not only enjoyable but also funny on re-reading.

The best comic work generates a kind of 'depth' from the world it creates - this world must be delightful.

Farce is not comic - because it is heartless.

But in the lists below this category excludes 'great' literature which is also comic - to get onto the list the work must primarily be comic (although almost never exclusively comic).


Best comic novel: Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis.

Best comic travelogue: Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K Jerome

Best comic novelist: PG Wodehouse, especially Jeeves stories

Best writer of comic verse: Lewis Carroll

Best writer of comic poetry: John Betjeman

Best comic playwright: Tom Stoppard (early)

Best comic 'diary': Diary of a Nobody by George and Wheedon Grossmith