Where Does Dirt Come From?

  • Alenka ZupančičEmail author
Part of the Performance Philosophy book series (PPH)


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.”


Freud Jokes Repression Comedy Dirt Enjoyment 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Slovene Academy of SciencesLjubljanaSlovenia

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