The Semiotics of Clowns and Clowning: Rituals of Transgression and the Theory of Laughter - Bloomsbury Advances in Semiotics (Paperback)Professor Emeritus Paul Bouissac (author)
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Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Number of pages: 232
Weight: 331 g
Dimensions: 234 x 156 x 13 mm
An important addition to literature on clowns and laughter, and an ambitious attempt to address in transcendent terms the negotiation of meaning at the heart of clown-generated laughter ... Valuable insights into practice abound ... Bouissac's knowledge of and sensitivity to a breadth of cultural contexts allows for fascinating and relevant examinations of time-honored clown routines ... Indeed his book finds its full value in a sustained reflection from a perspective we don't usually encounter: the sign-rich soil beneath our social interaction and the precise manner of its playful overturning by the classic circus clown. * Humor *
In this book, Paul Bouissac, pioneer and master of the scientific approach to circus arts, demonstrates in a complete and brilliant way, by semiotic, anthropological and cognitive approaches, how the clowning art is a multimodal and complex act of communication, which produces laughter and sense through cognitive and cultural constructions shared by artists and spectators. THE definitive reference to understand clowning! -- Philippe Goudard, Professor of Performing Arts, Universite Paul Valery Montpellier, France
Bouissac brings his customary rigour and a true respect and love for the art of clowning to the task of discussing what clowns actually do and what it might mean. The full force of semiotic analysis bears generous fruit as Bouissac bases any theoretical analysis or deductions upon actual detailed descriptions of clowns in action. A hugely valuable contribution to the growing field of clown studies and an antidote to the lazy off-the-shelf popular mythologizing about clowning which passes for commentary in many quarters. -- Jon Davison, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London, UK
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