In this prolonged essay, Vittorio Hösle develops a conception of the comical and applies it to interpret either the recurrent personae performed by means of Woody Allen the actor and the philosophical concerns addressed by way of Woody Allen the director in his films. Taking Henri Bergson’s research of laughter as a kick off point, Hösle integrates facets of different theories of laughter to build his personal extra finely-articulated and improved version. With this conception in hand, Hösle discusses the incongruity within the characters performed by way of Woody Allen and describes how those personae are learned in his work.
Hösle specializes in the philosophical concerns in Allen’s significant motion pictures through exploring the id challenge in Play It back, Sam and Zelig, the shortcomings of the positivist notion of truth in A Midsummer Night’s intercourse Comedy, the relation among fact and artwork in The red Rose of Cairo, the target validity of morality in Crimes and Misdemeanors, the facility of evil in Shadows and Fog, and the relation among paintings and morality in Bullets over Broadway. He cites Allen’s virtuosic reinterpretation of older different types of expression and his integration of the glorious into the comedian universe—elements just like the sizeable breasts, apprehensive sperm, extraterrestrials, ghosts, and magicians that populate his movies—as formal strikes comparable to these of Aristophanes. either an summary of Allen’s paintings and a philosophical research of laughter, Hösle’s learn demonstrates why Allen’s movies have extra to supply us—morally, philosophically, and artistically—than quite a few laughs.

“In Woody Allen, Vittorio Hösle is going some distance towards explaining every little thing you desired to find out about Allen yet have been afraid to invite. simply why precisely is he humorous, and why does his humor have a powerful allure for lecturers? In his finished research of Allen’s paintings, Hösle outlines a manageable conception of humor, illustrates his conclusions by means of concerning the flicks and prose, and issues out a number of philosophic motifs underlying Allen’s deceptively complicated comedies. Hösle’s paintings elevates the joy of Allen’s motion pictures from in charge excitement to gratifying highbrow engagement with an fascinating modern philosopher and artist.” —Richard A. Blake, S.J., Boston College
“Vittorio Hösle provides a compelling evaluation of Allen’s paintings within which he discusses diverse theories of laughter and argues for the concern of the incongruity conception because the just one in a position to solution the normative query, what distinguises stable from undesirable laughter? in this theoretical foundation he is going directly to delve into either the humor and the philosophical profundity of Allen’s films.” —Sander Lee, Keene country College

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