Fear and Laughter: A Politics of Not Selves 'For' Self explores the possibility of situating oneself within the tension between comedy and horror. An ethical stance is defined as not selves 'for' self in the immanent relation of thought, forgiveness and laughter. Thought as an image, the Gorgon, a death mask, is worn on the face of the self-conscious comic subject. Theories on fear and laughter by several philosophers and poets-Spinoza, Deleuze, Bataille, Nietzsche, Hegel, Shakespeare, Aristophanes, Baudelaire, Beckett, Bergson and others- are used to illuminate a specific political orientation. The texture of the book's language allows the reader to enter into this division and circuit of fear and laughter, which "act like the shorelines cradling what life really feels like, a mass of beauty and sadness." Beginning with a genealogy of laughter, the book closes with an exploration of the mechanisms of contemporary life that stifle the potential for laughter, while attempting to transcend them. ------------ about the author: Jake Reeder is an alumnus of The European Graduate School.
He is currently working towards his doctoral degree at the London Consortium, studying the concept of possession from Aristotle to Heidegger.