About the Author(s)
William V. Costanzo is a SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor of English and Film who has taught writing, literature, and film courses since 1970. A graduate of Columbia University with a Certificate in Film from NYU, Dr. Costanzo has published six books ranging from writing and computers to world cinema and film genres.
"Hunting down universals in comedy and finding the peculiarities in regional cinemas, When the World Laughs breaks down the borders of the sense of the comic and expands horizons. Costanzo teaches the reader about laughter, about crossing ethnic and cultural boundaries to learn about what the neighbors find funny. ... Out of this modest proposal erupts a transnational understanding and appreciation to see with fresh eyes and hear with fresh ears the global grammars and rhetorics of human laughter. Written with persuasive clarity and cogency, this is a delightful treatment of film comedy." -- T. Lindvall, CHOICE
"Rich with provocative ideas for comparisons and contrasts among countries and regions, it is a rewarding place to begin, expanding this field of inquiry and inviting constructive engagement." -- Diane Carson, Transnational Screens
"Costanzo's When The World Laughs wins the Oscar for the most thorough and engaging study of cinematic comedies from Europe, Asia, the Americas, Africa and beyond, embracing theory, cultural perspectives, history, and the variety of comic elements as well more thoroughly than any other book written so far." -- Andrew Horton, University of Oklahoma
"This is the book the field had been waiting for, a wide-ranging study of film comedy that is informed by humor studies scholarship, erudite, well-researched, and yet quite readable." -- Salvatore Attardo, Texas A & M University - Commerce
"When the World Laughs insightfully analyzes a global selection of film comedy from Britain to Italy, Africa to East Asia, illuminating aesthetics, politics, and values. Exploring theories of humor, genre, history, culture, archetypes, and style, Costanzo presents a solid exploration of exceptional scope and depth." -- Diane Carson, UFVA Past President