1953, Books, Fiction

The Ponder Heart (1953) by Eudora Welty

I’d like to believe that all my favourite funny things – Python, Kids In The Hall, Mr. Show, and numerous others – transcend time and place, and are objectively funny. I know that’s not true, as tons of people don’t like Python, for example. But I’d like to believe. And I’d like to believe it about all great humourous art, not just serious art.

But I honestly¬† don’t know if it’s true or not. And when I read something like The Ponder Heart, I lean more toward the side that humour isn’t transcendent; rather it is contextual and without context you may not be able to appreciate it.

And I believe that about The Ponder Heart because I find it spectacularly unfunny. I understand that it is supposed to be humourous, and I understand what type of humour it is, and I understand that there is a certain craft behind it, but I think I chuckled once, maybe twice.

Now I know this is a style of humour that I don’t normally like, but I’d like to think that I can at least appreciate the craft. But I can’t help but just find the whole thing frustrating and infuriating. I’d like to think that if there was more to this than just a goofy little story about a lovable old rich gentleman, I’d have something to appreciate. But I just don’t see it.


  • Author: Eudora Welty
  • Illustrator: Joe Krush
  • Country: United States
  • Language: English
  • Genre: Tragicomedy, murder mystery
  • Publisher: The New Yorker; Harcourt Brace
  • Publication date: December 5, 1953; 1954
  • Pages: 168
  • ISBN: 978-0-15-173073-5
  • OCLC: 632720406

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