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Comedy Begins with Our Simplest Gestures
Levinas, Ethics, and Humor
Brian Bergen-Aurand, ed.

2017 • 294 pp. 6 x 9"
Phenomenology / Philosophers

$35.00 Paperback, 978-0-8207-0703-7

The important relationship of comedy to ethics, through the lens of continental philosophy and Emmanuel Levinas, in particular, is examined

“Comedy begins with our simplest gestures,” wrote Emmanuel Levinas in Entre Nous. To think about issues and theories of comedy through the lens of Levinasian thought, however, might itself sound like a joke, as Levinas rarely discussed humor in his published work, and his commitment to “ethics as first philosophy” in light of the horrors of the Holocaust hardly seems compatible with jokes and laughter. But far from trivializing the gravity of Levinas’s ethical thought, this volume rather aims to take comedy seriously, exploring the ethical encounter opened up in humor, laughter, and joking, as well as the comedic aspects of various types of human interaction.

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BRIAN BERGEN-AURAND currently teaches at Bellevue College in Washington and was previously assistant professor of English and film at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. He is the coeditor of Transnational Chinese Cinema: Corporeality, Desire, and Ethics of Failure, author of the forthcoming book Cinematic Provocations: Ethics, Justice, Embodiment, and Global Film, and founding editor of the journal Screen Bodies.

Tue, 15 May 2018 13:49:17 -0500