|Tarachow, S. (1949). Remarks on the Comic Process and Beauty. Psychoanal Q., 18:215-226.|
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(1949). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 18:215-226
Remarks on the Comic Process and Beauty
Freud observed that two people are necessary for : one, the person who laughs, the other, the whose or characteristics provoke the laughter . The comic process may be enjoyed without imparted to a third. Wit requires the third person, but not the second; the of a witticism need not be on the scene; however, an audience is required. Humor, however, is a process which takes place within one person, the forces involved the ego and the of the humorist.
It is possible to think of the people and forces involved in the comic process in another and useful way. In the suggested regrouping of elements the critical factor is the management and direction of the . One could say that there are two pairs of constant elements in a comic situation: they are, first, the comedian (or wit) and his audience; second, the aggressor and his victim. This does not necessarily require four people. The minimum is two, the comedian and the audience; the other two may be supplied in fact or in and may be acted out by either one or the other of the two physically necessary characters. On this basis four elementary comic situations are postulated: 1, the masochistic comedian; 2, the story-teller; 3, the practical joker; 4, the sadistic comedian. (Humor is omitted here.)
In the first group the masochistic comedian acts out the part of the victim or sexual . The audience may be the aggressor or a third person may be introduced as the aggressor. Costello, of the team Abbott and Costello, is a typical example. He is always in trouble, and is punished,
Revised from a paper presented as part of a Panel Discussion on of the Creative , at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychoanalytic , Washington, D. C., May 15, 1948.
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