Comedy Matters: From Shakespeare to Stoppard

Hardcover | April 15, 2008

byWilliam W. Demastes

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Comedy Matters traces the long tradition of the expansive comic embrace of cultural difference and diversity that manages to survive even in some of mankind’s darkest moments. Demastes argues that comedy has a hard-nosed, pragmatic dimension that can be mobilized against belligerent cultural forces. Drawing from the works of Shakespeare, Stoppard, and a number of other comic masters, Comedy Matters demonstrates how comedy continues to work against cultural regimentation by striving to re-calibrate our decision-making processes and challenging the stultifying rigidity of human economy in the broadest sense of the term.

 

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Comedy Matters traces the long tradition of the expansive comic embrace of cultural difference and diversity that manages to survive even in some of mankind’s darkest moments. Demastes argues that comedy has a hard-nosed, pragmatic dimension that can be mobilized against belligerent cultural forces. Drawing from the works of Shakespear...

William W. Demastes is Professor of English, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge. He is the author of numerous articles and books on theatre and drama, including Staging Consciousness, Theatre of Chaos, Beyond Naturalism, and Interrogating America through Theatre and Performance, co-edited with Iris Smith Fischer.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:224 pages, 8.53 × 5.84 × 0.68 inPublished:April 15, 2008Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230604714

ISBN - 13:9780230604711

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Table of Contents

Into the 21st Century * The Organics of Comedy * On The Razor’s Edge * Connecting Mind to Body * More than Matter Matters * The Orderly Disorder of Comic Vitality and Its Liberating Potential * Comedy as Gift * Comedy Confronts Commodity Via the Adaptive Unconscious * Things Could Be Better, Things Could be Worse

Editorial Reviews

"Demastes' study is a thoughtful, cogent, and, ultimately, very useful consideration of comedy, an oft overlooked and certainly under theorized genre of dramatic literature….that it is simultaneously theoretically perceptive and lucid. The study could well be viewed as an example of contemporary theatre scholarship at its best."--Jonathan Chambers, Bowling Green State University