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“Strange laughter”: Post-Gothic Questions of Laughter and the Human in Samuel Beckett's Work

Abstract:
The laughter of Samuel Beckett's characters is frequently strange and unsettling. Characters laugh unpredictably, and the reader or spectator does not feel prompted to join them; when we do laugh in response to the Beckettian text, we are often shocked by our own lack of propriety. I examine laughter theory and the laughter in Gothic texts to explore why Beckettian laughter so disconcerts us, and what the implications of this affective response are for our understanding of what constitutes the human, and of our own ostensibly human identities.
Publication status:
Published
Peer review status:
Peer reviewed

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Publisher copy:
10.2979/jmodelite.40.4.01

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Institution:
University of Oxford
Division:
HUMS
Department:
English Faculty
Oxford college:
St Cross College
Role:
Author
Publisher:
Indiana University Press Publisher's website
Journal:
Journal of Modern Literature Journal website
Volume:
40
Issue:
4
Pages:
1-19
Publication date:
2017-08-30
Acceptance date:
2015-10-22
DOI:
EISSN:
1529-1464
ISSN:
0022-281X
Source identifiers:
829031
Keywords:
Pubs id:
pubs:829031
UUID:
uuid:3c7e9857-ef0b-4329-97ad-59d4cfd16469
Local pid:
pubs:829031
Deposit date:
2018-03-12

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