When all the archetypes burst out shamelessly, we plumb the depths of Homeric profundity. Two clichés make us laugh but a hundred clichés moves us because we sense dimly that the clichés are talking among themselves, celebrating a reunion. . . . Just as the extreme of pain meets sensual pleasure, and the extreme of perversion borders on mystical energy, so too the extreme of banality allows us to catch a glimpse of the Sublime.
Umberto Eco (1932 -)
Source: "Casablanca: Cult Movies and Intertextual Collage" (1984) from Travels in Hyperreality
"But why doesn't the Gospel ever say that Christ laughed?" I asked, for no good reason. "Is Jorge right?" "Legions of scholars have wondered whether Christ laughed. The question doesn't interest me much. I believe he never laughed, because, omniscient as the son of God had to be, he knew how we Christians would behave. . . ."