A History of English Laughter: Laughter from Beowulf to Beckett and Beyond (Google eBook)
Rodopi, Jan 1, 2002 - Literary Criticism - 201 pages
Is there a 'history' of laughter? Or isn't laughter an anthropological constant rather and thus beyond history, a human feature that has defined humanity ashomo ridens from cave man and cave woman to us? The contributors to this collection of essays believe that laughter does have a history and try to identify continuities and turning points of this history by studying a series of English texts, both canonical and non-canonical, from Anglosaxon to contemporary. As this is not another book on the history of the comic or of comedy it does not restrict itself to comic genres; some of the essays actually go out of their way to discover laughter at the margins of texts where one would not have expected it all – in Beowulf, or Paradise Lost or the Gothic Novel. Laughter at the margins of texts, which often coincides with laughter from the margins of society and its orthodoxies, is one of the special concerns of this book. This goes together with an interest in 'impure' forms of laughter – in laughter that is not the serene and intellectually or emotionally distanced response to a comic stimulus which is at the heart of many philosophical theories of the comic, but emotionally disturbed and troubled, aggressive and transgressive, satanic and sardonic laughter. We do not ask, then, what is comic, but: who laughs at and with whom where, when, why, and how?
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Andrew James Jobnston
Wemer von Koppenfels
Absolon Alisoun analysis audience laughter Bakhtin bebaviour Beckett Beowulf biblical body burlesque Byron Camival camivalesque Canterbury Tales character Chaucer Christ Christian comedy concem concept contemporary critical culture Democritus drama emotional essay evoked expression fabliau fiction Finnegans Wake fool Freud Freudian gender genre God's Gothic Novel hermeneutical higbly human humour instance interpretation James James's Jobn jokes Joyce Kim Morrissey kind of laughter Lachen language laugbs laugh literary London n.d. madness Malvolio Maturin's meaning medieval Mehnoth Melmoth the Wanderer melodrama Miller's Tale Milton mirth modem moral n.d. first performed narrative narrator nineteenth century norms novel Number Old English literature Paradise Lost parody pattem plays Plessner poem political Pope Pope's pryvetee quote reaction readers relation religious response ridicule role Romantic Rune Poem satanic satire seems sense sexual Shakespeare's social spectators spleen stage Steme Stephen theatre theatrical theory of laughter tradition Tristram Shandy tumed tums