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The doubly split body

1813 Mal gesehen

Datum der Aufzeichnung: 09.03.2012

Ort: TQW / Studios

Im Rahmen von: The lists and tricks of laughing (Concept & Curating: Krassimira Kruschkova)



An attempt to investigate the borderline position of laughter – the double and contradictory definition and delimitation of the human animal which, on the one hand, is supposed to be the animal that possesses language (zoon logon echon), while, at the same time, laughter seems to catapult it out of language and yet, once more, separate it from other animals, because, as Herder and before and after him many others have said: »no animal laughs.« Laughter thus separates the human being doubly from almost all other beings who do not laugh (animals, angels, God – with the exception of the homeric gods). What then happens in laughter? The lecture will attempt to approach this question through a reading of Baudelaire’s ›De l’essence du rire‹ (On the Essence of Laughter). 



Rainer Nägele is professor of German and comparative study of literature at the University of Yale.

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