First we had a publicist promise Sam Lipsyte’s forthcoming novel, The Ask, would usher us back into the time of Pynchon, Roth, and Heller; now Shalom Auslander is getting set to present us a funny book about genocide. and the term “comic novel” pops up again. This time, it’s in his essay, “Go for the Kill” on Tablet.
“I’m a fun guy. I read about the Armenian Genocide, and about the Herrero Massacre, and about the Holodomor, and about King Leopold in the Congo, and about the Tutsis killing Hutus, and about the Hutus killing Tutsis.”
“picked up my History of Torture and Execution, and forced myself again to find the humor in it. Because it seems for some things—like the seemingly-genetic, obviously-incurable bestiality of man toward his fellow man—laughter isn’t the best medicine.
It’s the only goddamn medicine.”