Book presentation: Robert Sedlaczek, Sprachwitze. Die Formen. Die Techniken. Die jüdischen Wurzeln (Linguistic Jokes. The Forms. The Techniques. The Jewish Roots)
Linguistic jokes are among the most intelligent examples in the diverse world of jokes. Many classic verbal jokes have everything it takes to make a good joke, but feature an additional component: Not only do they derive their laughing power with the language, but also from the language. Using more than 500 examples, Robert Sedlaczek analyzes how linguistic humor works and traces a line of development back in time: from the dual conférenciers of the 1950s and 1960s to the great cabaret artists of the interwar period and the Yiddish vernacular theater piece Die Klabriaspartie, to the end of the 19th century, where those pronounced punch lines we still laugh about today originated from the jokes, anecdotes and aphorisms of the day. In search of the roots of the language puns, he turns to Jewish humor in particular. Robert Sedlaczek dissects modern lame jokes and forever-young Jewish jokes, brings examples from new joke collections and from old cabaret programs.
Robert Sedlaczek, Dr. phil., born in Vienna in 1952, studied journalism, German and English at the University of Vienna. He later worked as a journalist, publishing director, publicist and non-fiction author, as well as for Bruno Kreisky in the Chancellor’s office from 1980 to 1983. He is the author of numerous books on language, including Kleines Handbuch der bedrohten Wörter Österreichs, Das österreichische Deutsch. Wie wir uns von unserem großen Nachbarn unterscheiden and Wenn ist nicht würdelos. Rot-weiß-rote Markierungen durch das Dickicht der Sprache. Since 2005 his weekly language column has appeared in the Wiener Zeitung. His works published in Haymon Verlag include: Wörterbuch der Alltagssprache Österreichs (HAYMONtb, 2011), Wörterbuch des Wienerischen (HAYMONtb, 2011), Wiener Wortgeschichten. Von Pflasterhirschen und Winterschwalben (2012) and Die Tante Jolesch und ihre Zeit. Eine Recherche (2013). His new book, Sprachwitze, and Hans Moser’s Das große Wörterbuch der Tiroler Dialekte, which he coauthored, will appear in 2020. http://www.robertsedlaczek.at
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