Read Comedy: An Essay on Comedy by Henri Bergson Free Online
Book Title: Comedy: An Essay on Comedy|
The author of the book: Henri Bergson
Date of issue: May 22nd 2013
ISBN 13: 9780307830777
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 846 KB
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Henri Bergson — Laughter
George Meredith — An Essay on Comedy
Introduction & Appendix on The Meanings of Comedy by Wylie Sypher
Laughter is a mystery—a mystery which defines man. Brought together in this volume are two classic studies of the nature of laughter and comedy. The great French philosopher Henri Bergson develops, in "Laughter," a profound psychological and philisophic theory of the main springs of comedy—a theory closely related to the doctrine of the élan vital. In his "Essay on Comedy," the English novelist George Meredith discusses the varieties of the comic experience and the social and moral function of comedy.
Together these two major theories go far toward clarifying the mystery of laughter. Wylie Sypher, in his richly documented supplementary essay, places the views of Bergson and Meredith in a large context of speculation on the nature of comedy. The essay reviews important statements of such thinkers as Aristotle, Hobbes, Baudelaire, Freud, Cornford, and others. It serves to give further significance to Bergson and Meredith and to the meaning of comedy itself.
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Read information about the authorHenri Bergson was one of the most famous and influential French philosophers of the late 19th century-early 20th century. Although his international fame reached cult-like heights during his lifetime, his influence decreased notably after the second World War. While such French thinkers as Merleau-Ponty, Sartre, and Lévinas explicitly acknowledged his influence on their thought, it is generally agreed that it was Gilles Deleuze's 1966 Bergsonism that marked the reawakening of interest in Bergson's work. Deleuze realized that Bergson's most enduring contribution to philosophical thinking is his concept of multiplicity. Bergson's concept of multiplicity attempts to unify in a consistent way two contradictory features: heterogeneity and continuity. Many philosophers today thinks that this concept of multiplicity, despite its difficulty, is revolutionary. It is revolutionary because it opens the way to a reconception of community.
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