Institut Humor Indonesia Kini (IHIK)

Kajian Humor Indonesia dan Mancanegara

The Semiotics of Clowns and Clowning

semiotic

The Semiotics of Clowns and Clowning: Rituals of Transgression and the Theory of Laughter (Bloomsbury Advances in Semiotics)
by Paul Bouissac (Author, Series Editor)

During the last 300 years circus clowns have emerged as powerful cultural icons. This is the first semiotic analysis of the range of make-up and costumes through which the clowns’ performing identities have been established and go on developing. It also examines what Bouissac terms ‘micronarratives’ – narrative meanings that clowns generate through their acts, dialogues and gestures.

Putting a repertory of clown performances under the semiotic microscope leads to the conclusion that the performances are all interconnected and come from what might be termed a ‘mythical matrix’. These micronarratives replicate in context-sensitive forms a master narrative whose general theme refers to the emergence of cultures and constraints that they place upon instinctual behaviour.

From this vantage point, each performance can be considered as a ritual which re-enacts the primitive violence inherent in all cultures and the temporary resolutions which must be negotiated as the outcome. Why do these acts of transgression and re-integration then trigger laughter and wonder? What kind of mirror does this put up to society? In a masterful semiotic analysis, Bouissac delves into decades of research to answer these questions.

Review
In this book, Paul Bouissac, pioneer and master of the scientific approach to circus arts, demonstrates in a complete and brilliant way, by semiotic, anthropological and cognitive approaches, how the clowning art is a multimodal and complex act of communication, which produces laughter and sense through cognitive and cultural constructions shared by artists and spectators. THE definitive reference to understand clowning! (Philippe Goudard, Professor of Performing Arts, Université Paul Valéry Montpellier, France 2014-10-28)

Bouissac brings his customary rigour and a true respect and love for the art of clowning to the task of discussing what clowns actually do and what it might mean. The full force of semiotic analysis bears generous fruit as Bouissac bases any theoretical analysis or deductions upon actual detailed descriptions of clowns in action. A hugely valuable contribution to the growing field of clown studies and an antidote to the lazy off-the-shelf popular mythologizing about clowning which passes for commentary in many quarters. (Jon Davison, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London, UK 2014-10-30)

A reader-friendly book and an invaluable ethnographic approach to an area of study that has been most neglected by (humour and other) scholars… particularly interesting for humour researchers, especially those who investigate clown performances in or, mostly nowadays, outside circuses. (European Journal of Humour Research 2016-03-16)

Book Description
Showcases the semiotic import of the act of clowning and how these narrative acts refer back to the origins of civilization.

About the Author
Paul Bouissac is Professor Emeritus at the University of Toronto (Victoria College), Canada. He is a world renowned figure in semiotics and a pioneer of circus studies. He runs the SemiotiX Bulletin [www.semioticon.com/semiotix] which has a global readership.

Product Details
Series: Bloomsbury Advances in Semiotics
Paperback: 232 pages
Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic (July 16, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1472532783
ISBN-13: 978-1472532787
Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.4 x 9.3 inches
Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #345,980 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Five Stars
By Claudio G.on March 4, 2017
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase

Wonderful book!!!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: