Quotation by Louis Kronenberger

Where wit is a form of criticism or mockery, humor includes an element of self-criticism or self-mockery; where wit tends to proclaim imperfection, humor wryly acknowledges it; where wit undresses you, humor goes naked. At its best, humor simultaneously hurts and heals, makes one larger from a willingness to make oneself less. It has essentially much more breadth than wit, from being much more universal in appeal and human in effect. If harder to translate or explain, it often need not be explained or translated at all, revealing itself in a sudden gesture, a happy juxtaposition. We speak constantly of "the humor of the situation," almost never of the wit; just so, virtually everything that is farcical or funny derives from humor gone a bit wild.
Louis Kronenberger (1904–1980), U.S. critic, editor. A Mania for Magnificence, Little, Brown (1972).
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The Columbia World of Quotations © 1996, Columbia University Press.
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