Love Song for the Life of the Mind: An Essay on the Purpose of Comedy (Hardback)
  • Love Song for the Life of the Mind: An Essay on the Purpose of Comedy (Hardback)
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Love Song for the Life of the Mind: An Essay on the Purpose of Comedy (Hardback)

(author)
£86.50
Hardback 336 Pages / Published: 30/10/2007
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Love Song for the Life of the Mind develops the view of comedy that, the author argues, would have been set out in Aristotle's missing second book of ""Poetics"". As such it is both a philosophical and a historical argument about Aristotle; and the theory of comedy it elucidates is meant to be trans-historically and trans-culturally accurate. After a preface that sets out the primacy and centrality of mimesis for both individual and societal development, the argument about the dramatic arts begins from a crux in Aristotle's extant analysis of tragedy where he seems to contradict himself on the kind of plot that is the best for tragedy. Gene Fendt argues, against a variety of formalist and intellectualist interpretations, that the only way out of the problem is through reference to the final cause of tragedy as a catharsis of pity and fear. This fundamental tenet of Aristotle's theory of tragedy, the author maintains, is the first clue to understanding comedy, which also must be defined not formally but in reference to its final cause. Fendt argues that the final cause of comedy must be a catharsis of eros and sympathy. In the course of his argument he shows how that catharsis is made available to the excessive, the deficient, and the virtuous members of the audience in Aristophanes' ""Acharnians"", Shakespeare's ""As You Like It"" and Stoppard's ""Arcadia"". The book closes by exploring how this Aristotelian argument might underlie the Symposium's claim that the fine artist of tragedy should also create fine comedy. The book will appeal both to those interested in Aristotle and those interested in dramatic theory and criticism.

Publisher: The Catholic University of America Press
ISBN: 9780813214856
Number of pages: 336
Weight: 699 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 30 mm

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