Tragedy massages the human ego even as comedy deflates it. ... Tragedy pits us against large foes and the trip wire is our own character. ... In comedy we fall afoul of one another. Comedy depends on social life, on our behavior in groups. In tragedy you can observe one human against the gods. In comedy it's one human versus other humans and often one man (or woman if I'm writing it) against her own worst impulses.
I'm beginning to feel that the real endangered species on planet earth are not the whales and the elephants but those of us who can laugh at the world and ourselves. ... I fear the dry turn of the American mind, this focus on the literal, as much as I fear our capacity for self-destruction. We've become hagridden by facts, obsessed with product instead of process. Where's the energetic wit, the looney outlook, the frivolity, the lightness of comforting laughter? It has become fashionable to know and unfashionable to feel, and you can't really laugh if you can't feel.
Plot involves fragmentary reality, and it might involve composite reality. Fragmentary reality is the view of the individual. Composite reality is the community or state view. Fragmentary reality is always set against composite reality. Virginia Woolf did this by creating fragmentary monologues and for a while this was all the rage in literature. She was a genius. In the hands of the merely talented it came off like gibberish.