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p. 192. Getting physicallocked

  • Matthew Bevis


There is one word that is always associated with comedy: laughter. What does laughter do to us? ‘Getting physical’ considers comedy as a mode through which we organize our knowledge of the self as a material being. From Aristophanes onwards, comic imaginations have enjoyed getting physical, but part of that enjoyment is connected to thinking about the physical. Comic figures and modes often gesture towards bodily appetites. Comedy notices that, unlike most animals, humans enjoy their appetites as luxuries, and reflects on this oddity of humanity. Comedy can also turn plight into pleasure.

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