„When he laughed, respectable senators burst with laughter,
And when he cried the little children died in the streets.“
— W. H. Auden Anglo-American poet 1907 - 1973
Epitaph on a Tyrant (1939), lines 5–6
„I do not think that any civilization can be called complete until it has progressed from sophistication to unsophistication, and made a conscious return to simplicity of thinking and living, and I call no man wise until he has made the progress from the wisdom of knowledge to the wisdom of foolishness, and become a laughing philosopher, feeling first life's tragedy and then life's comedy. For we must weep before we can laugh. Out of sadness comes the awakening, and out of the awakening comes the laughter of the philosopher, with kindliness and tolerance to boot.“
— Lin Yutang, livro The Importance of Living
The Importance of Living (1937), Ch. I : The Awakening, p. 13
— William Gibson, livro Neuromancer
— Henryk Sienkiewicz, livro Quo Vadis
Quo Vadis (1895), Petronius, in Ch. 2
„it is always a genial laughter. Not at mere weakness, at misery or poverty; never. No man who can laugh, what we call laughing, will laugh at these things. It is some poor character only desiring to laugh, and have the credit of wit, that does so. Laughter means sympathy.“
— Thomas Carlyle Scottish philosopher, satirical writer, essayist, historian and teacher 1795 - 1881
1840s, Heroes and Hero-Worship (1840), The Hero as Poet
„Perhaps I know best why it is man alone who laughs; he alone suffers so deeply that he had to invent laughter.“
— Friedrich Nietzsche German philosopher, poet, composer, cultural critic, and classical philologist 1844 - 1900
— Wendell Berry author 1934
Poems, "Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front" in Farming: A Hand Book (1970).
„Fiction is made of life/ Of earth and clay/ Of tears and laughter/ Of blood and sweat/ Hear them, the works of an author or a painter/ The singer and the clown/ Preserve the mystery of life.“
— Kuruvilla Pandikattu Indian philosopher 1957
Life: Relish It! (2012), Life: Relish It!
„A dreadful laugh at last escapes his lips;
The laughter sets him free.
A Fool lives in the Universe! he cries.
The Fool is me!“
— Ray Bradbury American writer 1920 - 2012
Christ, Old Student in a New School (1972), Context: That so much time was wasted in this pain. Ten thousand years ago he might have let off down To not return again! A dreadful laugh at last escapes his lips; The laughter sets him free. A Fool lives in the Universe! he cries. The Fool is me! And with one final shake of laughter Breaks his bonds. The nails fall skittering to marble floors. And Christ, knelt at the rail, sees miracle As Man steps down in amiable wisdom To give himself what no one else can give: His liberty.
„Happy in the time of Jesus were those who wept! Happy, now, are those who can laugh, because laughter is the attribute of man, as the great prophet of the Renaissance, Rabelais, said. Laughter is forbearance; laughter is philosophy. The heavens clear when they laugh, and the great secret of divine omnipotence resides in an eternal smile!“
— Eliphas Levi French writer 1810 - 1875
The Great Secret: or Occultism Unveiled, Book Two: The Royal Mystery or the Art of Subduing the Powers, Chapter V: The Outer Darkness
„Icke: The best way of removing negativity is to laugh and be joyous, Terry, so I'm glad that there's been so much laughter in the audience tonight.
Wogan: But they're laughing at you. They're not laughing with you.
Icke: I don't care.“
— David Icke English writer and public speaker 1952
Interview with Terry Wogan, ibid.
„Do not think that I am not sad, though I laugh. See, I have cried even when the laugh did choke me. But no more think that I am all sorry when I cry, for the laugh he come just the same. Keep it always with you that laughter who knock at your door and say, ‘May I come in?’ is not the true laughter.“
— Bram Stoker, livro Dracula
Dracula (1897), Context: Van Helsing and I came on here. The moment we were alone in the carriage he gave way to a regular fit of hysterics. He has denied to me since that it was hysterics, and insisted that it was only his sense of humour asserting itself under very terrible conditions. He laughed till he cried, and I had to draw down the blinds lest any one should see us and misjudge; and then he cried, till he laughed again; and laughed and cried together, just as a woman does. I tried to be stern with him, as one is to a woman under the circumstances; but it had no effect. Men and women are so different in manifestations of nervous strength or weakness! Then when his face grew grave and stern again I asked him why his mirth, and why at such a time. His reply was in a way characteristic of him, for it was logical and forceful and mysterious. He said:— “Ah, you don't comprehend, friend John. Do not think that I am not sad, though I laugh. See, I have cried even when the laugh did choke me. But no more think that I am all sorry when I cry, for the laugh he come just the same. Keep it always with you that laughter who knock at your door and say, ‘May I come in?’ is not the true laughter. No! he is a king, and he come when and how he like. He ask no person; he choose no time of suitability. He say, ‘I am here.’ Behold, in example I grieve my heart out for that so sweet young girl; I give my blood for her, though I am old and worn; I give my time, my skill, my sleep; I let my other sufferers want that so she may have all. And yet I can laugh at her very grave — laugh when the clay from the spade of the sexton drop upon her coffin and say ‘Thud, thud!’ to my heart, till it send back the blood from my cheek. My heart bleed for that poor boy — that dear boy, so of the age of mine own boy had I been so blessed that he live, and with his hair and eyes the same. There, you know now why I love him so. And yet when he say things that touch my husband-heart to the quick, and make my father-heart yearn to him as to no other man — not even you, friend John, for we are more level in experiences than father and son — yet even at such a moment King Laugh he come to me and shout and bellow in my ear, ‘Here I am! here I am!’ till the blood come dance back and bring some of the sunshine that he carry with him to my cheek. Oh, friend John, it is a strange world, a sad world, a world full of miseries, and woes, and troubles; and yet when King Laugh come, he make them all dance to the tune he play. Bleeding hearts, and dry bones of the churchyard, and tears that burn as they fall — all dance together to the music that he make with that smileless mouth of him. And believe me, friend John, that he is good to come, and kind. Ah, we men and women are like ropes drawn tight with strain that pull us different ways. Then tears come; and, like the rain on the ropes, they brace us up, until perhaps the strain become too great, and we break. But King Laugh he come like the sunshine, and he ease off the strain again; and we bear to go on with our labour, what it may be.” Chapter XIV, Dr. Seward's Diary entry for 22 September
— Anne Lamott, Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith
— Amanda Palmer American punk-cabaret musician 1976
Lyrics, Do You Swear to Tell the Truth the Whole Truth and Nothing but the Truth So Help Your Black Ass (2010)
„Make them laugh, make them cry, and back to laughter. What do people go to the theater for? An emotional exercise. And no preachment.“
— Mary Pickford Canadian-American actress 1892 - 1979
Kevin Brownlow, The Parade's Gone By ... (1968), p. 134
„You laughed for the marrow in their bones that was not yet ready for laughter;
And you wept for their eyes that yet were dry.“
— Khalil Gibran, livro Jesus, The Son of Man
Jesus, The Son of Man (1928), Context: You laughed for the marrow in their bones that was not yet ready for laughter; And you wept for their eyes that yet were dry. Your voice fathered their thoughts and their understanding. Your voice mothered their words and their breath. A Man From Lebanon: Nineteen Centuries Afterward