Southern Literature and Folk Humor

Ray Lum, reprinted with the permission of photographer William Ferris and the University of Mississippi Archives.

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Southern Literature and Folk Humor

by William R. Ferris
Southern Cultures, Vol. 1, No. 4: Southern Humor

"Folk humor is a key to both American culture and its literary tradition."

During his first visit in this country, Carl Jung noted the distinct style of American humor. Jung was struck by the “real American laughter, that grand, unrestrained, unsophisticated laughter” and felt it showed “remarkable vivacity and ease of expression. Americans,” he wrote, “are great talkers.”