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Comic nescience

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Abstract

This paper offers the perspective of comic nescience, an experimental theoretical approach to comical works (texts or performers who arouse laughter or amusement). The paper views traditional humour theory in a meta-theoretical manner, pointing out how traditional schools (superiority, incongruity, and relief) have been underscored by an epistemology of knowing, resulting in a tendency towards a reductive interpretive understanding of works under investigation. Critiquing Bergson through an examination of a popular Internet film, Day-O, Mr. Taliban Song and through a reflection on the popular comedian, Gracie Allen, comic nescience asserts the stance of treating some popular comical texts and performers for their interpretive uncertainty, ambiguity, and multiplicity. In addition, comic nescience offers a theory of the way popular comedy functions in the American context; in particular, comic nescience claims that American humour is an important democratic site of cultural negotiation.

References

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