If You Don't Laugh, You Cry: Stories and Absurdities

Open Access
Van Son, Collin Doyle
Area of Honors:
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • William Cobb, Thesis Supervisor
  • Xiaoye You, Honors Advisor
  • fiction
  • short stories
  • absurdist
If You Don’t Laugh, You Cry seeks to explore the bizarre mix of humor and helplessness that we call absurdity. Each story introduces characters whose lives are like the warped reflection of a fun house mirror—there are images and scenes we instantly recognize, but something is undeniably off. These distortions are what happens when logical reasoning is applied to an illogical premise. For example: What would it be like to work in a hospital where laughter really is the best medicine? Maybe the doctors all wear red noses and carry around rubber chickens. Or maybe the phrase “dying of laughter” carries a heavier weight than we’re used to. In the realm of the absurd, joy, sadness, and confusion live side-by-side. The trouble is telling where one begins and the other ends.