Saturday, March 31, 2007

"The cultural construction of folly, of course, is dependent upon a society's ideas about what constitutes earnestness, seriousness, responsibility, and dignity. To reverse these traits is to create folly - the work of the fool....Wherever humans have wandered, the fool, a perennial transcultural type, is found performing, an entertaining oddity to her audience. The fool's appearance sets up a social tension of ambivalence; the boundaries of propriety blur, fantasy and reality oscillate, and one's cognitive control over the environment recedes. As Welsford notes, 'The Fool by his mere presence dissolves events, evades issues, and throws doubt on the finality of fact.'"

- from William Mitchell, Clowning as Critical Practice:
Performance Humor in the South Pacific
(p. 15)


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2:34 PM  

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