Grotesque and excremental humour : Monty Python's meaning of life
Ūdris, Jānis (1988) Grotesque and excremental humour : Monty Python's meaning of life. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.
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Official URL: http://webcat.warwick.ac.uk/record=b1408718~S15
The thesis represents an attempt to bring together theoretical
and empirical work on (grotesque/excremental) humour. The first two
sections are consequently concerned with the history and theorisation
of the grotesque/excremental and with the prevalent ways of
analysing the comedic. It was decided that a 'history' of Monty
Python would constitute too long a digression, and so only a brief
account of Terry Gilliam's links with the grotesque is included.
Two further section then deal with some of the research on the
comedic which has been done and with audience research methodologies.
It is worth noting a shift which took place in the course of
work on this thesis, from a concern with highly individuated
responses (reflecting the centrality of psychoanalytic explications
of the comedic) to an eventual decision to concentrate on a 'readerresponse'
approach. The rationale for this shift is discussed in
Section 5, and briefly in Section 6.
The empirical heart of the research is, then, an analysis of a
transcript of six hours of taped interviews/discussions about
responses to Monty Python's Meaning of Life. These are supplemented
by the results of Humour Appreciation Tests and Mood Adjective Check
Lists administered under standard conditions to the respondents
watching the film.
While there can be no question of 'proof', particularly in a
field in which psychoanalytic mechanisms are arguably crucial,
results of the empirical study indicate that the humour of Meaning
of Life functions to reduce anxiety, and that the mechanism by which
this occurs conforms to a Freudian repression model. Over and above
this, however, - the work of David Morley and Janice Radway is worth
evoking here - the detailed account of audience response also furnishes
data for further enquiry about how and why 'real' respondents
do or do not find grotesque and excremental humour 'funny'.
|Item Type:||Thesis or Dissertation (PhD)|
|Subjects:||P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1993 Motion Pictures|
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||Wit and humor, Grotesque in motion pictures, Monty Python (Comedy troupe). Meaning of life -- Criticism and interpretation|
|Official Date:||December 1988|
|Institution:||University of Warwick|
|Theses Department:||Department of Film and Television Studies|
|Supervisor(s)/Advisor:||Dyer, Richard, 1945- ; Udris, Raynalle|
|Extent:||478, 117 leaves|
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