MacRury, I., 2012. Humour as social dreaming:Stand-up comedy as therapeutic performance. Psychoanalysis, Culture and Society, 17, 185 - 203 .
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Stand-up comedy binds dramatic cultural spectacle to ritualised, intimate exposure. Examining ‘case’ examples from live comic performance, this paper describes stand-up as a kind of social dreaming. The article proposes a theoretical frame drawing on Thomas Ogden’s notion of ‘talking as dreaming’ and psychoanalytic accounts connecting humour and melancholia. Locating the stand-up comedian’s propensity for humour in a specialist capacity to hone, display and process traumata, the paper characterises stand-up as a performative oscillation evoking paranoid-schizoid and depressive anxieties. A psychosocial gloss places stand-up as a cultural resource in the service of the popular-as-therapeutic. The paper articulates complementarities between Henri Bergson’s formulations on the function of laughter and an emergent object relations account in order to help to recognise ‘containing’ and ‘cultural-restorative’ aspects of much stand-up, understood as contemporary psychosocial ritual.
|Uncontrolled Keywords:||humour; stand-up comedy; psychoanalysis; Bergson; object relations|
|Group:||Faculty of Media & Communication|
|Deposited By:||Unnamed user with email symplectic@symplectic|
|Deposited On:||05 May 2014 18:27|
|Last Modified:||05 May 2014 18:27|
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