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Treatise On Laughter, Treatise On Laughter, 0817300260, 0-8173-0026-0, 978-0-8173-0026-5, 9780817300265, , , Treatise On Laughter, 0817390553, 0-8173-9055-3, 978-0-8173-9055-6, 9780817390556, , , Treatise On Laughter, 081735963X, 0-8173-5963-X, 978-0-8173-5963-8, 9780817359638,

Treatise On Laughter

E Book
2015. 172 pp.
2 B&W figures
978-0-8173-9055-6
Price:  $24.95 d
Quality Paper
2019. 172 pp.
2 B&W figures
978-0-8173-5963-8
Price:  $24.95 s

Translation from French of an essay on the nature and character of human laughter

Until its translation, Treatise on Laughter remained accessible solely to readers of French for nearly four centuries. Joubert’s treatise offers a curious and stimulating experience: the sensation of moving through another epistemology.

His theory was composed during a period of great turmoil in the history of France when the human race was becoming much more aware of the organic structure of man and nature. He begins with the immediately observable phenomena before penetrating into the more hidden aspects of one of the most admirable of human acts, amirables accions de l’homme, laughter. Joubert is keenly aware of the difficulty of his subject matter. Rather than discouraging him, however, this becomes an incentive, making the study of such a formidable mystery more enticing.

His ideas can appear quaint, and many of his beliefs can make us smile. Yet our smile may well disappear when we wonder which of today’s accepted ideas might seem laughable half a millennium hence.


Laurent Joubert (1529–1582) was a French physician who became a significant figure in a movement that sought to challenge medical superstitions and ignorance in France. Busy as he was with the obligations of his practice, Joubert found time to compose several medical works. He wrote voluminously in Latin and in French, edited the important Grande Chirurgie of Guy de Chauliac, and published his Erreurs populaires to considerable scandal. Three years before his death Joubert published his first written and most cherished work, the Traité du Ris, or Treatise on Laughter.
 
Gregory David de Rocher is an editor and translator of many volumes, including Popular Errors, The Second Part of the Popular Errors, and Rabelais’s Laughers and Joubert’s Traité du Ris. He currently resides in Athens, Georgia.
“This edition and translation leaves a very favorable impression on the reader. The appearance of this extremely attractive volume is to be welcomed as a useful addition to the material available to students and scholars of the literary and medical history of the Renaissance.”
Bibliothèque d’'Humanisme et Renaissance