Adding to the fragment: happiness & conversation in three eighteenth-century comedic novels
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] Recently, Happiness Studies has become an important field of inquiry. This paper brings some of the insights of Happiness Studies to bear on three eighteenth-century novels. Recent scholarship on Tom Jones and Tristram Shandy has sought to enlarge the role religious ideas and beliefs play in our understanding of these novels. This paper counters these readings by suggesting that comedic novels need to be read as comedies and that the field of Happiness Studies has much to tell us about the role comedy plays in human happiness. I show that each novel under discussion is concerned with how humans can best be happy. In so doing, I argue that the formal properties of comedy both inform and aid us in our quest for happiness.--From public.pdf
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