A History of English Laughter: Laughter from Beowulf to Beckett and Beyond - Internationale Forschungen zur Allgemeinen und Vergleichenden Literaturwissenschaft 57 (Paperback)Manfred Pfister (volume editor)
Paperback 201 Pages / Published: 01/01/2002
- Not available
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 as homo 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?
Number of pages: 201
Weight: 472 g
Dimensions: 240 x 170 mm
You may also be interested in...
Please sign in to write a review
Simply reserve online and pay at the counter when you collect. Available in shop from just two hours, subject to availability.
Thank you for your reservation
Your order is now being processed and we have sent a confirmation email to you at
When will my order be ready to collect?
Following the initial email, you will be contacted by the shop to confirm that your item is available for collection.
Call us on or send us an email at
Unfortunately there has been a problem with your order
Please try again or alternatively you can contact your chosen shop on or send us an email at