From David Hayman, David Michaelis, George Plimpton, & Richard Rhodes’s interview of Kurt Vonnegut in “The Art of Fiction No. 64” (The Paris Review: Spring 1977, No. 69):
If you make people laugh or cry about little black marks on sheets of white paper, what is that but a practical joke? All the great story lines are great practical jokes that people fall for over and over.