“The English Sense of Humor ?” by Antony Easthope - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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“The English Sense of Humor ?” by Antony Easthope

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  1. “The English Sense ofHumor?” byAntonyEasthope Lingua e Traduzione Inglese (A) Cristina Faitini Laura Pollini

  2. The jokeis to the Britishwhat the philosophicalconcept, let’s say, is to the French, and wethus take ourcomedians a lot more seriouslythanourphilosophers. (SundayTimes, 22 January 1995) • Itbelongs to English national culture • In England itisdamningforsomeone to lack a senseofhumor “Sense of humor”

  3. A. Medhurts – “A National Joke” • “Humor is crucial in the English sense of nation” Lack of a violent domestic history is essential to the development of an expansive and good-natured national sense of humour English humor is class-based → • Differences between English • and Continental history →

  4. A. Easthope • The mainfeaturesassociatedwithhumor – irony, concernwithself-deception, preferencefor the eccentric – can beunderstood in relation to empiricism • Knowledgearisesfromexperienceof thereal / the real can beknownasitis ↓ Empiricistattitudes are pervasive in English culture, where the real can beeasilyseen

  5. Thisobsessiveconcernwithtruth, fact and the real renders fantasy a pleasurablerelease: • Fantasy (intendedasexcess) is the repressedotherofempiricism • Humorisgivenbydesire and fantasy to interfere with English treatment of the real

  6. irony • exposureofself-deception • tendencytowards fantasy and excess Three main conditions of sense of humor ↓ More condensed in the English tradition becausestructurallyrelated back to empiricism

  7. Donald McGill’s postcards Referring to the REAL → normal circumstances 2. → misunderstanding: “predicament” →sexual allusions Wrong reaction Awayfrom the real. Excess. FANTASY. Welaugh

  8. “Didthey get an X-ray of your wife's jaw at the hospital?” REAL → notfunny at all “No, they got a moving picture instead.” Stereotypeabout women FANTASY-EXCESS IRONY

  9. G. Orwell “A young bridegroom is shown getting out of bed the morning after his wedding night. 'The first morning in our own little home, darling!‘ he is saying, 'I'll go and get the milk and paper and bring you up a cup of tea.‘ Inset is a picture of the front doorstep. On it are four newspapers and four bottles of milk.” Real: the morningafter the wedding night. Excess: theyhavespentfourdays in theirroom.

  10. “The background is a stable society in which marriage is indissoluble” Itshowssomethingthatweusually don’t say Transgression Breachoftaboos in the sexualsphere BUT English sense of humour: → obscene but NOT immoral → no destruction of social structures