Constance Rourke: "Humor has been a fashioning instrument in America, cleaving its way through the national life, holding tenaciously to the spread elements of that life. Its mode has often been swift and coarse and ruthless, beyond art and beyond established civilization. It has engaged in warfare against the established heritage, against the bonds of pioneer existence. Its objective -- the unconscious objective of a disunited people -- has seemed to be that of creating fresh bonds, a new unity, the semblance of a society and the rounded completion of an American type."
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