„The man who laughs has simply not yet had the terrible news.“

"To Those Born Later", part of the Svendborg Poems (1939)
quoted in Poems, 1913-1956, p. 318
Variation: He who laughs last has not yet heard the bad news.
German: Wer jetzt noch lacht, hat die neuesten Nachrichten noch nicht gehört.
Poems, 1913-1956 (1976)

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Bertolt Brecht95
German poet, playwright, theatre director 1898 - 1956

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„The young man who has not wept is a savage, and the old man who will not laugh is a fool.“

—  George Santayana 20th-century Spanish-American philosopher associated with Pragmatism 1863 - 1952

Ch. 3, P. 57
Dialogues in Limbo (1926)

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„No man who has once heartily and wholly laughed can be altogether irreclaimably bad.“

—  Thomas Carlyle Scottish philosopher, satirical writer, essayist, historian and teacher 1795 - 1881

Bk. I, ch. 4.
1830s, Sartor Resartus (1833–1834)

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„Man is the only animal that laughs and has a state legislature.“

—  Samuel Butler novelist 1835 - 1902

As quoted in 1,911 Best Things Anybody Ever Said (1988) by Robert Byrne

John Cowper Powys photo

„Man is the animal who weeps and laughs — and writes.“

—  John Cowper Powys British writer, lecturer and philosopher 1872 - 1963

If the first Prometheus brought fire from heaven in a fennel-stalk, the last will take it back — in a book.
The Pleasures of Literature (1938), p. 17

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H.L. Mencken photo

„A man who can laugh, if only at himself, is never really miserable.“

—  H.L. Mencken American journalist and writer 1880 - 1956

15
1940s–present
Context: Human life is basically a comedy. Even its tragedies often seem comic to the spectator, and not infrequently they actually have comic touches to the victim. Happiness probably consists largely in the capacity to detect and relish them. A man who can laugh, if only at himself, is never really miserable.

„I have borne what no man
Who has walked this earth has ever yet borne.
I have kissed the hand of the man who killed my son.“

—  Stanley Lombardo Philosopher, Classicist 1943

Book XXIV, lines 541–543; Priam to Achilles.
Translations, Iliad (1997)

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„Simply follow nature, Rousseau declares. Sade, laughing grimly, agrees.“

—  Camille Paglia American writer 1947

p. 235
Sexual Personae: Art and Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson (1990)

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„The man with the real sense of humor is the man who can put himself in the spectator's place and laugh at his own misfortunes.“

—  Bert Williams American comedian and actor 1874 - 1922

Bert Williams, The comic side of trouble, January 1918, American Magazine 85, 33-34, 58-60. Quoted in From traveling show to vaudeville: theatrical spectacle in America, 1830-1910, 2003, Robert M. Lewis, JHU Press, ISBN 0801870879.

Jiddu Krishnamurti photo

„Superstition is another mighty evil, and has caused much terrible cruelty. The man who is a slave to it despises others who are wiser, tries to force them to do as he does.“

—  Jiddu Krishnamurti Indian spiritual philosopher 1895 - 1986

§ IV
1910s, At the Feet of the Master (1911)
Context: Superstition is another mighty evil, and has caused much terrible cruelty. The man who is a slave to it despises others who are wiser, tries to force them to do as he does. Think of the awful slaughter produced by the superstition that animals should be sacrificed, and by the still more cruel superstition that man needs flesh for food. Think of the treatment which superstition has meted out to the depressed classes in our beloved India, and see in that how this evil quality can breed heartless cruelty even among those who know the duty of brotherhood. Many crimes have men committed in the name of the God of Love, moved by this nightmare of superstition; be very careful therefore that no slightest trace of it remains in you.

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„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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