Laughter: An Essay on the Meaning of the Comic

Laughter: An Essay on the Meaning of the Comic

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Philosopher Henri Bergson was best known for his works on intuition, consciousness, time, and creative evolution. His writings included Matter and Memory, An Introduction to Metaphysics, and Creative Evolution, and he was said to have influenced thinkers such as Marcel Proust, William James, Santayana, and Martin Heidegger. After a career as a professor at the College de France, Bergson turned to diplomacy and writing, and was deeply involved with the League of Nations. While he won the Nobel Prize in literature in 1927, for a time his writings were shunned by devout Catholics.

In Laughter, Bergson considers the meaning of the comic element in forms and movements, situations, words, and character. He regards the comic as a living thing with a logic of its own. It requires an absence of feeling, "something like a momentary anesthesia of the heart. Its appeal is to intelligence, pure and simple." It must have a social signification; it must be within the human realm. Above all, since laughter inspires fear, the comic is seen as a check on our more eccentric impulses. Bergson wrote: "In laughter we always find an unavowed intention to humiliate and consequently to correct our neighbour."

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781604501063
Publisher: Arc Manor
Publication date: 02/21/2008
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 96
Sales rank: 1,067,143
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.23(d)

About the Author

Henri-Louis Bergson (18 October 1859 - 4 January 1941) was a major French philosopher, influential especially in the first half of the 20th century. Bergson convinced many thinkers that the processes of immediate experience and intuition are more significant than abstract rationalism and science for understanding reality.
He was awarded the 1927 Nobel Prize in Literature "in recognition of his rich and vitalizing ideas and the brilliant skill with which they have been presented". In 1930, France awarded him its highest honour, the Grand-Croix de la Legion d'honneur.

Table of Contents

Chapter I The Comic in General—The Comic Element in Forms and Movements—Expansive Force of the Comic
Chapter II The Comic Element in Situations and the Comic Element in Words
Chapter III The Comic in Character

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Laughter: An Essay on the Meaning of the Comic 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An interesting collection of essays.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Let me go to your birthday party so i can poop there! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Laughter.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bye :'( luv u lots. Imma miss u
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I luv you too (;