Finding a rich vein of humour in China’s past

The New York Times featured an interview with UBC literary and cultural historian Christopher Rea, whose new work The Age of Innocence: A New History of Laughter in China, traces the growth of comedy, farce, cursing and satire in early 20th century China.

“China in the early 20th century — my book’s focus — was, to put it mildly, a rough and tumble place,” said Rea. “But it fostered a whole industry of mirth populated with cultural figures from hack jokesters to respectable writers slumming it as humourists.”