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Laughter: An Essay on the Meaning of the Comic
Green Integer Series No.: 14
ISBN: 1-892295-02-4, Pages: 179
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Author winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature
In this great philosophical essay, Henri Bergson explores why people laugh and what laughter means. First translated into English in 1911, this important work has long been unavailable.
The author of Creative Evolution and other influential works of the Twentieth Century begins with a discussion of laughter in general, focusing in the second part on laughter in situations and the comic in words, and, in the final section, on the comic in character. from Punch-and-Judy shows to Figaro, from a man falling down in the street to the great comic figures of Molière's plays, Bergson explores the implications and full meaning of laughter, concluding ultimately that laughter is corrective: By laughter, society avenges itself for the liberties taken with it. It would fail in its object if it bore the stamp of sympathy or kindness. Accordingly, Bergson argues, laughter serves a useful function to mankind.
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