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Simple Form

  • By: Peter Grzybek
  • In: Encyclopedia of Humor Studies
  • Edited by: Salvatore Attardo
  • Subject:General Media, Communication & Cultural Studies, Sociology of Culture

Simple forms (SFs) refers to a concept of folk literature as the expression of elementary cognitive attitudes (mental dispositions, modes of thought) and provides a theoretical umbrella term to systematically cover various verbal folklore genres. As a term, SF is the English translation of Einfache Formen (EF), a book published in 1930 by art historian and literary scholar André Jolles, which has continued to give theoretical impulses as well as reason for confusion and critique. This book was never translated into English, but it continues to be published in German and remains influential.

Jolles was born in 1874 in the Netherlands. After school, as a poet and promoter of the symbolist movement, he founded and contributed to various literary and cultural journals. Studying in Italy, France, ...

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