Comedies of Nihilism

Strange juxtapositions can be startling at best, infelicitous at worst.1 To be “raped in the face” is a perfectly designed phrase of comedic nihilism—a shock-term designed to garner a chuckle due to the severity of the verb and the ...

Author: Amir Khan

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 9783319598949

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 183

View: 844


This book presents close-readings of seven post-millennial comedic films: Up in the Air, Tropic Thunder, JCVD, Winnebago Man, The Trotsky, Be Kind Rewind, and Hamlet 2. It is a sequel to Stanley Cavell’s 1981 landmark study of the comedic genre, Pursuits of Happiness, where he examines seven comedies of Hollywood’s “Golden Age.” Khan puts forward the idea that comedies, once centred on the conventional “happy ending,” are no longer interested in detailing the steps to any ending we might call happy. Instead, the agenda of most culturally serious comedies today is to “spoof,” to make all that is fair foul. The seven films presented here risk a type of cultural nihilism—spoofing for the sake of spoofing and nothing else, indicative not of film’s promise but its failure. By equating the failure of film with the failed national politics of Canada (or the failed politics of nationalism and community more generally), this study shows that comedy has less to do with happiness and more to do with the grotesque. The films analysed represent hyper-realized forms of comic irony and move towards what theatre knows as tragedy, or a tragic vision.


However , nihilism as the philosophical grounding of both tragedy and comedy removes the relationship from the audience . That is , it makes good science but bad literature , theater , and so forth . If tragedy is , as Hobbes declares ...

Author: Maurice Charney

Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group

ISBN: 0313327149

Category: Comedy

Page: 663

View: 926


Writing the Comedy Pilot Script

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia took Seinfeld's ensemble comedy nihilism to new highs (or lows?) and began its incredibly long successful run with a non-premise pilot. Your decision on whether the premise or non-premise method is the ...

Author: Manny Basanese

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 9781000485059

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 184

View: 802


Navigating through the challenging process of writing a comedy pilot, this book will help screenwriters to create an original script for television. Practical and accessible, the book presents a step-by-step guide focusing on the key elements of the process. Incorporating both the history of TV comedy as well as its current evolving state in this age of the dramedy and an ever-increasing variety of broadcast and streaming platforms, the book will serve as a guide for the fledgling sitcom scribe. Author Manny Basanese breaks down the comedy pilot writing process from what may be perceived as an overwhelming, time-consuming mission into a series of much more manageable, smaller steps (from logline to outline to 1st, 2nd and polished draft). Utilizing his experience in Hollywood’s sitcom trenches, the author offers real-world advice on such topics as building the comedy pilot "world," creating memorable comic characters, sound sitcom structure, and the importance of crafting an emotional through line in a comedy pilot. Finally, there is also practical career guidance for marketing this just-completed script and breaking into the industry with advice on various topics such as the value of networking as well as gaining representation in the competitive Hollywood jungle. It is ideal for students of screenwriting and aspiring comedy screenwriters.

Understanding Nietzsche Understanding Modernism

To locate comedy in this, one must focus on the potential for a dynamic ebb and flow between tragedy and nihilism. Comedy includes both the recognition of the absurdity of life and participation in meaning-making activities.

Author: Brian Pines

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA

ISBN: 9781501339165

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 344

View: 964


Friedrich Nietzsche believed his own work represented the dawning of a new historical era, and, despite the fact that he lived most of his sane life suffering in obscurity, it is not an exaggeration to say that his vision helped lay the foundations for modernism in style, substance and attitude. Nietzsche was himself devoted to the modern, for he reinterpreted every philosophy, every historical figure and event, every movement that came before him. This reconceptualization of the past through new, modern eyes opened up Nietzsche's thinking to exploring daring possibilities for the future. This prophetic boldness, which is so unique to his style, seduced the modernist generation across the spectrum. He was read by early Zionists as well as by Nazi racial theorists; by Thomas Mann and as well as by Salvador Dali. His influence stretched from psychoanalysis to anarchist politics. Understanding Nietzsche, Understanding Modernism traces the effect of Nietzsche's thinking upon a diverse set of problems: from ontology, to politics, to musical and literary aesthetics. The first section of the volume is a series of essays, each exploring a major work of Nietzsche's, explaining its significance while contributing new interpretations of the text. The middle portion connects Nietzsche's thought to the various strands of modernism in which it reveals itself. The final section is a glossary of key terms that Nietzsche uses throughout his works. An excellent resource for any scholar attempting to conceptualize the foundations of modernism or the historical importance of Nietzsche, this volume seeks to outline the philosopher's works and their reception amongst the generations that immediately followed his passing.


Thus, secondly, and again in contrast to tragedy, which necessarily causes disharmony and disruption by 'changing everything', comedy builds upon harmony and consensus; it produces non- events within the confines of a given hegemonic ...

Author: Bulent Diken

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 9781134055838

Category: Architecture

Page: 200

View: 237


Most significant problems of contemporary life have their origins in nihilism and its paradoxical logic, which is simultaneously destructive to and constitutive of society. Yet, in social theory, nihilism is a surprisingly under-researched topic. This book develops a systematic account of nihilism in its four main forms: escapism, radical nihilism, passive nihilism and 'perfect nihilism.' It focuses especially on the disjunctive synthesis between passive nihilism (the negation of the will) and radical nihilism (the will to negation), between the hedonism/disorientation that characterizes the contemporary post-political culture and the emerging forms of despair and violence as a reaction to it. The book deals with nihilism at three levels. First, it addresses the genealogy and consequences of nihilism, which is followed by an excursus through film analysis. Then the book focuses on the 'social,' relating nihilism to capitalism, post-politics and terrorism. Another excursus fleshes out the theoretical argumens by focusing on Houellebecq's fiction. Finally, the possibilities of overcoming nihilism are considered by emphasizing the significance of concepts such as event, agonism and antagonism in this context.

Truth and the Comedic Art

Comedy may simply be more denuding of our flaws: what renders the flaw coherent with the courage is the weaving of them ... in the unfolding of the comedic story; and to do this requires a grasp of the antithesis of comedy: nihilism.

Author: Michael Gelven

Publisher: SUNY Press

ISBN: 9780791492147

Category: Drama

Page: 172

View: 845


Traditional philosophy places a singular emphasis on tragedy, acting under the assumption that tragedy is more profound than comedy. Gelven argues that comedy deserves equal if not greater attention from philosophy. Through the interpretative readings and concrete analysis of three classical works, Gelven shows that comedy provides an access to truth unavailable by any other means. Silvius in Shakespeares's As You Like It, Cherubino in Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro, and Lord Goring in Wilde's An Ideal Husband are examined in terms of why and how they are comic, along with how and why they are seen both as fools and yet as graced. Gelven finds that in revealing the spirit of graced folly, comedy teaches us about our own essence, the fundamental nature of our finitude. This will undoubtedly be of considerable importance not only to philosophical aestheticians or literary critics, but also for those seeking to understand the nature of truth itself.

Hegel on Tragedy and Comedy

Comedy. to. Christianity. The Nihilism of Aristophanic Laughter Paul T. Wilford Gott ist gestorben, Gott ist tot— dieses ist der fürchterlichste Gedanke.1 THE QUARREL BETWEEN PHILOSOPHY AND POETRY is an ancient one.

Author: Mark Alznauer

Publisher: SUNY Press

ISBN: 9781438483382

Category: Philosophy

Page: 298

View: 957


Explores the full extent of Hegel’s interest in tragedy and comedy throughout his works and extends from more literary and dramatic issues to questions about the role these genres play in the history of society and religion. No philosopher has treated the subject of tragedy and comedy in as original and searching a manner as G. W. F. Hegel. His concern with these genres runs throughout both his early and late works and extends from aesthetic issues to questions in the history of society and religion. Hegel on Tragedy and Comedy is the first book to explore the full extent of Hegel's interest in tragedy and comedy. The contributors analyze his treatment of both ancient and modern drama, including major essays on Sophocles, Aristophanes, Shakespeare, Goethe, and the German comedic tradition, and examine the relation of these genres to political, religious, and philosophical issues. In addition, the volume includes several essays on the role tragedy and comedy play in Hegel's philosophy of history. This book will not only be valuable to those who wish for a general overview of Hegel's treatment of tragedy and comedy but also to those who want to understand how his treatment of these genres is connected to the rest of his thought. Mark Alznauer is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Northwestern University and the author of Hegel's Theory of Responsibility.

Tragedy and Comedy

His inability to “see the top of his head" may symbolize an incapacity to recognize the self-cancellation of his own nihilism (I.i). If everything is meaningless, then so, too, the insight that everything is meaningless.

Author: Mark William Roche

Publisher: SUNY Press

ISBN: 9781438417585

Category: Philosophy

Page: 450

View: 837


The first evaluation and critique of Hegel's theory of tragedy and comedy, this book also develops an original theory of both genres.

A Companion to Film Comedy

Only from the perspective of nihilism, or worse, “misanthropy” can the “topic of massannihilation” be viewed as “comic” (Sontag 1990: 150). Sontag's moral censoriousness prevented her from fully appreciating dark comedy, in my view, ...

Author: Andrew Horton

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 9781119169550

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 584

View: 417


A wide-ranging survey of the subject that celebrates the variety and complexity of film comedy from the ‘silent’ days to the present, this authoritative guide offers an international perspective on the popular genre that explores all facets of its formative social, cultural and political context A wide-ranging collection of 24 essays exploring film comedy from the silent era to the present International in scope, the collection embraces not just American cinema, including Native American and African American, but also comic films from Europe, the Middle East, and Korea Essays explore sub-genres, performers, and cultural perspectives such as gender, politics, and history in addition to individual works Engages with different strands of comedy including slapstick, romantic, satirical and ironic Features original entries from a diverse group of multidisciplinary international contributors