Quotation by Harry Levin

If tragedy elicits our compassion, comedy appeals to our self-interest. The former confronts life's failures with noble fortitude, the latter seeks to circumvent them with shrewd nonchalance. The one leaves us momentarily in a mood of resignation, the other in a condition of euphoria.
Harry Levin (b. 1912), U.S. critic, educator. "Coming to Terms," Playboys and Killjoys, Oxford University Press (1987).
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