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11/06/2013 09:39 am ET

The Genius And Emptiness Of Richard Pryor

AP

“Is stand-up comedy literature?" David Henry and Joe Henry, a fraternal author team, ask this as Furious Cool: Richard Pryor and the World That Made Him enters the home stretch. Their answer cites Ezra Pound and William Carlos Williams, and follows a confident discussion about the resonance of Pryor's Live on the Sunset Strip with Dante's Inferno, a discussion made alongside a daring critical interpretation of Eudora Welty. Thus, their answer to that question is an excited “Yes, of course.” Or in a different mood: Their answer is, “Does a man pursued by a bear shit his pants in the woods?”

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