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📙 Comedy (The New Critical Idiom) by Andrew Stott — epub download


First of all, I should mention that I have a very specific reason for loving this book: I teach a course in Comparative Literature called Comic Spirit at a public university in CA, and after trying many of the available critical/theoretical/philosophical texts on the subject of comedy and humor, I've found this to be the best by far. Stott's essays blend interesting discussions of the work of major philosophers/theorists on comedy/humor (Bergson, Freud, Erasmus, etc.) with close readings of major comedic texts. I have two light critiques: 1.) the book lacks truly global perspective, and focuses largely on Anglo-Euro-American traditions. This reflects my interests and goals in teaching, so this is not a shortcoming so much as my personal desire to see a broader perspective (of course, it can be said that the book is limited in length and therefore scope). 2.) the film/media examples are limited to "classics" (think: Charlie Chaplin, Monty Python, Mel Brooks, Billy Wilder, Woody Allen, etc.), which are fantastic and give the book a feeling of authority, a mature distance from the baggy monstrosity and wild diversity of contemporary comedy film. That said, if you're looking for something to connect to contemporary film/media studies (and hence pique student interest by engaging their predispositions, if you're teaching), you would need to fill in some gaps. That said, after much trial-and-error, this is the book I return to for accessible writing style, broad coverage of what is becoming the critical canon of comedy thinkers, and clear exploration of challenging theories. Highly recommended too for writers of comedy who want to leverage a way of thinking about various approaches to comedy creation without all the lame rhetoric and packaging of "how to write comedy" guides.

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