Edited by Dr. Peter Narváez
Edited by Folklore professor Dr. Peter Narváez,
Of Corpse tackles the seemingly unusual topic of
how death and humour are found in everyday life.
Dr. Narváez has selected a collection of articles
that focus on what he calls the “death-humour paradox”;
that is, juxtaposing a serious matter with a humourous outcome.
Drawing from earlier research on the merry wake in Newfoundland
(that essay appears in this volume as well), Dr. Narváez
has included pieces on jokes after mass-mediated events
(such as Sept. 11), humour in customs such as Halloween
and Mexico’s Day of the Dead, and products of popular
culture, such as the Grateful Dead and the feature film
Weekend at Bernie’s.
This disparate list indeed reflects the nature of contemporary
folklore research and its intersection with popular culture.
Dr. Narváez situates his text squarely in the realm
of other folklore studies focusing on death, as well as
studies on humour. Focusing on ethnographic research, and
drawing from a variety of cultural and theoretical perspectives,
this collection of essays provide an in-depth and comprehensive
snapshot of, as Dr. Narváez explains, “complex
expressive forms that link death and humour.”
Of Corpse: Death and Humour in Folklore and Popular
Culture is published by Utah State University Press.