Where Does Dirt Come From?
- 5 Downloads
William James was the first to suggest that “dirt is matter out of place.” The chapter starts by examining the sufficiency of this definition in relation to jokes and comedy, and argues that the thesis is too short if we do not take into account the Freudian theory of repression. It focuses on a very particular kind of “dirt,” namely the enjoyment involved in the practice of joking. It re-reads the Freudian theory of how joking developed out of smut, and it concludes with the thesis that the enjoyment, which by definition has no place of its own but exists only in the intersection of the subject and the Other, gets its own place in comedy, but at the price of its paradoxical “deprivatization.”
KeywordsFreud Jokes Repression Comedy Dirt Enjoyment
- Atkinson, Rowan. 1981–6. No One Called Jones. Rowan Atkinson Live. Video Capture of a Stand Up Show. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOjbo74Hq-k.
- Carson, Anne. 1990. Putting Her in Her Place: Woman, Dirt, and Desire. In Before Sexuality: The Construction of Erotic Experience in the Ancient Greek World, ed. David Halperin, John Winkler, and Froma Zeitlin, 135–170. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
- Douglas, Mary. 2002. Purity and Danger: An Analysis of Concepts of Pollution and Taboo. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Freud, Sigmund. 1976. Jokes and Their Relation to the Unconscious. Harmondsworth: Penguin.Google Scholar
- ———. 2001. Repression. In In The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Volume XIV. London: Vintage.Google Scholar
- Lacan, Jacques. 1979. The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis. Harmondsworth: Penguin.Google Scholar
- ———. 1990. Television, A Challenge to the Psychoanalytic Establishment, ed. Joan Copjec. New York: W. W. Norton.Google Scholar