The Cambridge Introduction to Comedy

The Cambridge Introduction to Comedy

by Eric Weitz
     
 

ISBN-10: 0521540267

ISBN-13: 9780521540261

Pub. Date: 05/31/2009

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

How do we identify something as comedy?

How does reading a comic text differ from reading other kinds of texts?

How does comedy relate to social, cultural and political issues?

From Aristotle to the Commedia dell'arte, from Wilde to Albee-this Introduction uses these and many other examples from the vast history and range of the comedy genre to investigate

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Overview

How do we identify something as comedy?

How does reading a comic text differ from reading other kinds of texts?

How does comedy relate to social, cultural and political issues?

From Aristotle to the Commedia dell'arte, from Wilde to Albee-this Introduction uses these and many other examples from the vast history and range of the comedy genre to investigate comedy's patterns, characteristics and mechanisms. Focusing on dramatic texts, the book also refers to literature, film and television throughout, exploring how comedy affects and inhabits other worlds and genres.

This series is designed to introduce students to key topics and authors. Accessible and lively, these introductions will also appea1 to readers who want to broaden their understanding of the books and authors they enjoy.

Ideal for students, teachers and lecturers

Concise yet packed with essential information

Key suggestions for further reading

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521540261
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
05/31/2009
Series:
Cambridge Introductions to Literature Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
255
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.50(d)

Table of Contents

List of illustrations vii

Preface ix

Introduction: Thinking about comedy 1

First things 1

Play 3

What is comedy? 7

Something to make us laugh? 8

Happy endings 10

The world brought down to earth 12

Summing up before moving on 18

Chapter 1 Reading comedy 20

'What kind of world is this?' 20

Formal and textual elements 23

Entering the world of comedy 26

Comedy in the end 35

Chapter 2 Comedy's foundations 39

Back to (what we call) the beginning 39

The fingerprints of Old Comedy 42

Our old friend, New Comedy 50

New Comedy in Roman hands 58

Chapter 3 Comedy's devices 63

Towards a study of comic traits 63

Humour and its mechanics 63

Humour and the dramatic text 69

Mine the gap: the reader's view 72

Mine the gap: the spectator's access 86

Chapter 4 Comedy in the flesh 93

Comedy for the stage of the mind 93

Performance fabric and outlining 95

Reading comic bodies and voices 96

The commedia dell'arte 102

The clown 110

Reading comic character (mask) 114

Reading comic dialogue (lazzi) 120

Comic metaphysics 127

Chapter 5 Comedy's range 131

Dramatic texture and the comic 131

The comic and the tragic 132

The deadly serious treated playfully 140

The comic beyond the 'realistic' 142

Comic latitude in production 161

Chapter 6 Comedy and society 171

Comedy's associates 171

Comedy's politics 190

Notes 207

Further reading 222

List of texts 224

Bibliography 227

Index 237

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