Showing posts with label Hegel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hegel. Show all posts

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

A Ticklish Subject

Slavoj Žižek

The anxious researcher is unsure about placing the entry on philosophical humour between phallic ritual and physical comedy. Encyclopaedic collisions and incongruities abound.

Is this a breach of academic decorum?
Would it be safer simply to abandon the alphabetical approach to comedy and humour in this book on Aspects of Comedy?

Another anxiety: is this entry concerned with the philosophy of humour, or humour in philosophy?

How much space should be allocated to Slavoj Žižek? (A philosopher, a public intellectual, and a comedian).

In parenthesis ---

("there is a case to be made that Slavoj Žižek is really the Ken Dodd of post-Lacanian Hegelianism." --- Lindesay Irvine, Guardian, 6 January 2012, here) ---

And how funny is Žižek's The Ticklish Subject: the absent centre of political ontology (Verso, 1999)? I have my doubts.

I guess his work will always divide opinion. Take a look at his highly controversial review essay on Benigni's film Life Is Beautiful:

Laugh Yourself to Death: the new wave of Holocaust comedies! (15 December 1999)
And this judgment might benefit from further critical analysis of the relationship between humor and irresponsibility:

"The Muslim is thus the zero-point at which the very opposition between tragedy and comedy, between the sublime and the ridiculous, between dignity and derision, is suspended, the point at which one pole directly passes into its opposite. If we try to present his predicament as tragic, the result is comic, a mocking parody of the tragic dignity, and if we treat him as a comic character, tragedy emerges. We enter here the domain that is somehow outside or, rather, beneath the very elementary opposition of the dignified hierarchical structure of authority and its carnivalesque reversal, of the original and its parody, its mocking repetition. Can one imagine a film rendering THIS domain?"

Further reading:
Shaw, Joshua. "Philosophy of humor." Philosophy Compass 5.2 (2010): 112-126.
By the way, I'm collecting quotations that deal with comedy and humour. Here.

At the current rate of writing my book will be finished by April 2016.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Intro Shakespearean Tragedy

The publication of a new edition of Bradley’s Shakespearean Tragedy (1904) presents a timely opportunity to explore a classic expression of the theory and practice of tragic drama. This is also an opportunity for new readers to encounter a distinctive appreciation of Shakespeare’s work in the context of more recent literary and cultural theories. In the process, the obstacles to a clear understanding of what Bradley thought are explored, and we seek to explain why many critics were often hostile to his writings on Shakespeare. We then proceed to an interrogation of Bradley’s philosophy of tragedy in the context the wider project of the development of English Studies as an educational discipline since the end of the nineteenth century. This frame of analysis will also be informed by recent post-colonial theories which will be positioned within the context of literary study understood as a distinctive project of enlightened humane education. [...] One of the predicaments for Bradley, writing at the beginning of the twentieth century is how to accommodate a true representation of Shakespearean tragedy that responds to the ideology of the nineteenth century. He is writing in the context of the British imperial project and mass industrialisation, but ten years before the cataclysmic events of the First World War (1914-18). In this regard, the virtual absence of any historical particularities is a noteworthy silence in the text. One criticism might be that the romantic timelessness of Shakespeare seeks to naturalize a world order that is already showing signs of political if not ideological crisis.