Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

Influential Writing? ~ Some of The Best Is Comedy :-)


It seems even the writers who claim their main responsibility is to entertain their readers have at least some desire to Influence those readers.

Then there are the writers, those trying to influence their readers, who might laugh at you for suggesting their writing is entertainment.

Of course, being entertaining in one’s writing doesn’t necessitate using bald comedy; but, what about subtle humor?

The video below is a fascinating talk by Chris Bliss called, Comedy Is Translation.

I feel he shows quite clearly that a humorous presentation of information can greatly boost its Influence.

Chris mentions an influential study by the Pew Research Center that  states: “When Americans last year were asked to name the journalist they most admired, showing up at No. 4 on the list was a comedian.  Jon Stewart, host of The Daily Show on Comedy Central and former master of ceremonies at Academy Award shows, tied in the rankings with anchormen Brian Williams, Tom Brokaw, Dan Rather, and cable host Anderson Cooper.”

Early in the video, Chris talks about Gabriel García Márquez and his Spanish-to-English translator, Gregory Rabassa, who is quoted as saying, “Every act of communication is, in some way, an act of translation”.

This video is entertaining and quite Influential :-)


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7 responses to “Influential Writing? ~ Some of The Best Is Comedy :-)

  1. Jaleta Clegg February 29, 2012 at 6:38 pm

    But comedy doesn’t win awards and gets no respect. It’s interesting that it has more influence than the serious stuff. It’s also a lot harder to write and get right.

    Like this

    • Alexander M Zoltai February 29, 2012 at 8:19 pm

      Oh, yes, I agree, Jaleta, comedy is very hard to write and get right

      So good to see you in the comments again, too :-)

      Like this

      • Jaleta Clegg February 29, 2012 at 9:19 pm

        Good to be here. I’ve been lurking, just not posting much.

        Like this

  2. Simone Benedict March 1, 2012 at 1:16 am

    It was pretty humble of Gabe to say his translator made his works better. I always preferred the Spanish. I still can’t translate words spoken in English into English, or barely my own thoughts, so I completely get what Rabassa is saying.

    Like this

    • Alexander M Zoltai March 1, 2012 at 1:45 am

      Simone, you can read Spanish??

      Like this

      • Simone Benedict March 1, 2012 at 1:49 am

        At one time I could. It’s been so many years ago now I can just get the general idea of what I’m reading.

        Like this

  3. Pingback: Gregory Rabassa: If this be treasonsevblog

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