f a i t h * i n * f i c t i o n: Joy, Redux

f a i t h * i n * f i c t i o n

Friday, September 03, 2004

Joy, Redux

I’m not entirely happy with yesterday’s post. The problem is that I equated “funny” with “joy” and that’s obviously not right. So much of “funny” is built on pain that joy often doesn’t even enter the scene.

We do need funny works in CBA, though. I spent about five minutes fruitlessly trying to think of a Christian who’s made their living being funny. Dave Meurer’s pretty good. The guys who write for The Door can be.

But that doesn’t equal “joy.”

Perhaps it’s too intense an emotion to fully carry a novel. Maybe, as commenters suggested, it mostly comes in scenes and moments. Like the end of Andre Dubus’ story “Voices on the Moon.” Or Ray Carver’s “Cathedral.” It’s something that needs to flare—burn brightly and quickly. In an essay or poem—e. e. cummings has some joyous poetry, if I recall.

What are some other writings or works of art of any sort that speak to you of “joy”? Music choruses are the obvious place. Can that be replicated on the page or canvas? Who has succeeded for you?

So, in the meanwhile, I am now looking for both “joyous” books and plain “funny” books. They are not necessarily the same thing and I was incorrect for stating so yesterday.