Wednesday, March 14, 2007


The book I'm currently working with, Fools Are Everywhere, by Beatrice K. Otto, has a great chapter in it called "Overstepping the Mark." This chapter stands out because there is an emphasis on physical detail (of the court jester, mostly), describing incidents in history where a court fool will go a bit too far with h/er criticisms of the master, finding h/erself on a chopping block, in a noose, or at least in shackles, because "Telling a joke is more interesting when you can be put in jail for it."

Here's a good quote, with references to the cartoon-y nature of fools:

"There is in the jester a quality of resilience that means that even when he is beaten it does not seem to injure him. It is a resilience of the spirit that might either complement the physical litheness often associated with the jester or offer a contrast to a deformity. He never seems particularly perturbed by a whip decending on him, never inveighing against the injustice or cruelty of his punishment or begging for mercy: 'Like the comic characters in the film cartoons who may be cut to shreds, smashed flat, riddled with holes, or stretched into a thin line, yet which suddenly spring back into their original form or are miraculously put back together, the clown always seems to survive.'" (pg. 135)


Anonymous John Pierson (Fool) said...

I love this idea of no begging for mercy. I think we can incorporate that into our approach as an ensemble, there is an abundance of resilience and there is no apologizing.

1:32 PM  

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