Juxtaposing J

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Just one J post today. Normally, it would be Free Book Friday, but with the A-to-Z Challenge, Camp Nanowrimo, the launch and promotion of Her Cousin, Much Removed, writing other stuff (which you can find in the sidebar), good, old-fashioned all-American taxes, plus all the normal drudgery, I’m just wiped. Too tired even for alliteration.

So on to J, which has to be juxtaposition. First of all, I love the sound of the word, the way it divides itself into two distinct halves and yet squishes itself together. Perfect.

Juxtaposition is the heart of conflict. You put one person’s needs against another, and it sparks friction. It’s the line where something can turn from bright and sunny to weird and off, and get the two to hang in stasis; it’s that kind of juxtaposition that Tim Burton exploits so well. “The Grand Budapest Hotel” utilized it to perfection, from setting to character.

It’s also the mechanical workings of comedy, the gears that crank it along. You put a cat lady in a dog shelter, and something funny will happen. You take two things, two people, two animals who don’t belong together, juxtapose them, and you have all those spaces where they don’t fit to fill with humor.

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8 thoughts on “Juxtaposing J

  1. richsky

    An interesting thing about conflict when it comes to different medias. In books conflict is needed in order to push ahead. In things like improvisational comedy, conflict is there but muted. It’s considered an obstacle but shouldn’t last the entire scene. There needs to be a resolution at some point in time.

    • That’s a very interesting point. Yes, in improvisational comedy, conflict can really stop the whole thing dead, unless it’s the object of the comedy. It’s intriguing, isn’t it, how it’s almost as though there are physics to various forms of humor, and if you disrupt them, the funny dissipates.

  2. With regard to comedy, like Richsky noted, it’s there, but it fails if it’s not muted. The best comedy includes just enough to make us pause for a bit. ~~ Also, I’m happy our taxes were completed a long time ago. Good luck with everything!

    • I knew you’d be a good planner! Thanks, I got them filed but by the time I was done with it all…well, you know.

      I agree, it amazes me how delicate comedy, and what pops it depends on the form the comedy takes.

    • It’s such a great word. I only saw I when I visited your blog, I can’t wait to see what you did for J instead. I’m sure it’s a good one, if juxtaposition lost!

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