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The Pleasures of Daldaldal: Freud, Jokes, and the Development of Intersubjective Aesthetics

Bahun, S (2017) 'The Pleasures of Daldaldal: Freud, Jokes, and the Development of Intersubjective Aesthetics.' Modernist Cultures, 12 (2). 249 - 274. ISSN 1753-8629

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Abstract

This article focuses on Freud's account of joking in Jokes and Their Relation to the Unconscious (Der Witz und seine Beziehung zum Unbewußten, 1905) in its historical and cultural context. Freud's treatise, the author argues, must be reclaimed for modernist studies for at least two reasons. First, Freud's contribution to theories of laughter presents an important threshold in intellectual history – one that sees the emergence of contemporary notions of intersubjectivity, language, and art-production. Second and consequential to the first, Freud's 1905 assessment of joke-work deserves to be recontextualized as a modernist text in its own right. These motives provide the argumentative line and shape to the present article. It first investigates the Freudian intersubjective theory of jokes and its diverse contexts and then suggests some avenues for assessing Freud's book on jokes as a meaningful participant in a discourse and practice of modernist artistic engagement with the comic. Freud's reflections on joke-work, it is argued, amount to a seminal modernist theory not only because they purposefully depart from and rework traditional and contemporary assessments of humour but also because of their particular position in relation to modernist artistic discourse-practice as such.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BH Aesthetics
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities > Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies, Department of
Depositing User: Sanja Bahun
Date Deposited: 05 Jun 2017 11:02
Last Modified: 18 Dec 2018 11:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/19753

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