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The Joke and Its Relation to the Unconscious [Format Kindle]

Sigmund Freud , John Carey , Joyce Crick

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Descriptions du produit

Présentation de l'éditeur

Building on the crucial insight that jokes use many of the same mechanisms he had already discovered in dreams, Freud developed one of the richest and most comprehensive theories of humour that has ever been produced.

Jokes, he argues, provide immense pleasure by allowing us to express many of our deepest sexual, aggressive and cynical thoughts and feelings which would otherwise remain repressed. In elaborating this central thesis, he brings together a dazzling set of puns, anecdotes, snappyone-liners, spoonerisms and beloved stories of Jewish beggars and marriage-brokers. Many remain highly amusing, while others throw a vivid light on the lost world of early twentieth-century Vienna.

Biographie de l'auteur

Sigmund Freud was born in 1856 and died in exile in London in 1939. As a writer and doctor he remains one of the great voices of the modern era.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 394 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 292 pages
  • Pagination - ISBN de l'édition imprimée de référence : 0141185546
  • Editeur : Penguin; Édition : New Ed (28 novembre 2002)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B002RI99FK
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
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  • Word Wise: Non activé
  • Composition améliorée: Non activé
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°629.374 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)

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Amazon.com: 3.8 étoiles sur 5  4 commentaires
7 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Jokes are not a joke 29 octobre 2005
Par Shalom Freedman - Publié sur Amazon.com
For Freud jokes were not just fooling around, not primarily a means of play, not in short something of trivial importance. Rather they were expressions of our deepest instinctual drives and needs. Like errors in everyday life they are governed by an inner intentionality, and purposiveness.

Here it might be said that Freud exaggerates or is too extreme in his point- of- view and does not explain all humor by it.
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
1.0 étoiles sur 5 This is only of historical interest, not a competent theory 4 février 2015
Par Christopher Gontar - Publié sur Amazon.com
This book is about several traditional types of meaning-based jokes. It does not include a more sophisticated kind in which ambiguous language is used as a way of veiling or tactfully mentioning a foible or suffering. That type of humor is known to theorists today as one kind, among others, of "appropriate incongruity," though such theorists don't understand its meaning or ability to amuse. They don't understand that, in this kind of appropriate incongruity, one character says something that prolongs the delusion of another, similar to what one does in sarcasm. In both those cases one character implies that another is presumptuous or pretentious.

There is no great loss in that omission of appropriate incongruity in Freud's case, as it is less typical as a class of jokes within his culture. Ironically, however, one of the stories from Tales of Sendebar, a medieval romance text, turns on equivocation. That suggests such meaning-hinged comedies were prototypical jokes. A central version of Sendebar is the Hebrew one, implying that the modern ambiguity-based joke might, or should have existed in early Jewish culture.

But it is also not very important that the book does not focus on one-liners. While not including many of those, the book makes careful note of the "tendentious" humor that such shorter jokes often exhibit. Freud mentions a quip spoken by Heinrich Heine that might be considered a one-liner, but he doesn't understand the humor in what Heine says.

Freud's examples feature salient double meanings, which he both fails to notice and to interpret as to their humorous force in general. What is the humor in double meaning? Freud should know, since it relates to his own psychology, but he doesn't have a clue. That is ironic, and the major oversight. Nevertheless -- while Freud denied it -- all such things can be explained on only one theory.

Freud's psychology would have been ideal for a theory of humor, since an adjustment to reality defines the growth of the psyche. What could be more perfect than a humor theory based on the science of accepting reality and dealing with existence? In other words, humor is always an allusion to a flight from reality, and all of psychoanalysis is centered around this idea. Although he does appear to have noticed this in the case of humor, he did not know how to develop or explain it. Now this difficulty of Freud's is related to the fact that he did not understand the actual meaning of desire, but that is a different topic.

Lost in the subtlety of jokes, Freud was not able to find a way to link his psychoanalysis with humor. This resulted in his erroneous view that jokes are a throwback to childhood nonsense and word games. Many claim that his examples are obscured by barriers of culture and language, yet this is unimportant. It's not that Freud's jokes are bad (though perhaps they are not great), but he did not understand them. Translation is never a major issue in Freud's ideas here.

Consider that, if he were right, then jokes would be no more funny than Spoonerisms. And when Freud tries to hijack all of the terms of humor theory one by one, "humor," "comedy," "wit" and "jokes" and assign unfounded meanings to them he is quite mistaken. That is just one of this book's several outrageous moves.

Note, however, that Freud is not wrong to imply as he does a connection between the uncertainty of mental development and stability, and jokes. He acknowledges this relationship by taking the illogical, frivolous and nonsensical as rebellion against mature reason. Freud is still rather far from the truth though he implies that jokes are allusive, or in other words that they are partial rebellions against reason and not complete ones. He seems to realize that they don't explicitly present the source of their power.

But Freud misses the precise sort of transgression that jokes vaguely reference. It is not a crucial matter, moreover, whether they violate meaning or logic. In either of those cases, they support only a "selfish self-deception" theory of humor, the theory that comical folly is a kind of diminutive ambition.

Jokes and comedy often express rebellion against the intended meanings that people impose. There is an old humor concept, mainly Jewish, in which one or more characters equivocate between the use, ownership or the possession of a thing. This happens in Isaac Bashevis Singer's story of Schlemiel and his wife passing the coin between them as a series of payments. Precisely the same theme appears in Freud's joke about the cake, not paid for, being returned for exchange. The intention of others is the reality of meaning that irritates the self-centered psyche. All gaffes are mistakes of meaning or of the recognition of other people and the real world. That is the essence of what a gaffe is at least as we are evolved to interpret it emotionally, through humor -- even though our sense of humor exaggerates the degree of blame, as we pounce on more involuntary errors and treat them as though they were literally comical.

Thus the humorous meaning of all jokes, which are just allusively imbedded gaffes, consists in selfish self-deception. They refer to the idea of a disregard for meaning as determined by context and other people.

One commenter to this review asks me to provide more of the evidence against Freud that I claim to have. He said, either tell me why Freud is generally wrong about humor or show how he failed to understand a few jokes. I think that what I just said above fulfills the first part of the request sufficiently. But the latter request is also basically already fulfilled. I'm not going to publish my analyses of Freud's jokes in this review. That's asking way too much.

Just go to my review of Noel Carroll's short introduction book on humor and you see the same Freudian pattern of jokes refuted. What you see there is essentially what I say about the jokes in Freud's book and his interpretation of them.

But the simple proof is that jokes are not funny on the basis of their resemblance or allusion to childhood word games. Punch lines don't merely fail to follow logically, but they involve double meaning. Freud doesn't explain the prevalence of double meaning, but he cannot because he doesn't know it's there half the time -- he misses it in several examples.

Sure, it may be difficult to explain such jokes properly and I have become skilled at it as the result of several years of intense research and thinking. I certainly was not good at it overnight or had no natural talent.

There is not a single section or argument in the book that follows logically or conforms to human experience. If anyone thought otherwise, a debate would be arranged to defend such a view. That isn't happening, and this smug silence only reflects the inability of defenders of this material to face reality. If society and academe were truly rational (obviously they're not), it would be only a matter of time before this insignificant garbage were removed from the intellectual landscape, ceasing to confuse, intimidate and mentally impoverish thousands of innocent readers. It is tragic that my own words are taken as the aggressive and tyrannical, when they are liberating.

Certain books are preserved because of who wrote them, and because they stand as landmarks along a course toward a better view. This is one of them. An honest and clear evaluation of Freud's view of jokes shows that it is entirely false, and could safely be forgotten. What the previous "no" votes to this review show isn't that it is unfounded or unhelpful, but that certain individuals are disappointed by the failure of someone they admire. They are flatly refusing to respect reason and truth. It's as though they believe Freud is right about humor just because he's Freud. But throwing a few rocks at the truth and ignoring it won't make it go away.

In this case it is unfortunate that a historic document is presented as actual theory, as it will cause confusion and ignorance for many generations. I wrote an entire book chapter which thoroughly discredited Freud's theory of jokes, humor, and the comic. I showed how, in several examples, he did not even get jokes in the basic sense, let alone manage to explain their psychological meaning.
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Freud presents a very intriguing analysis of verbal jokes, ... 14 janvier 2015
Par Galfridus - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Freud presents a very intriguing analysis of verbal jokes, tying them to the unconscious as he previously did in his analysis of dreams. He particularly uses the metaphor of "economy" to characterize overall the process of joke-making, as he posits that the mind uses jokes to lessen psychic "expenditure" by releasing energy through the joke. Especially intriguing is his analysis of "tendentious jokes," which the teller directs aggressively at a third person, in the presence of a second person. I only wish Freud had considered the practical joke as well, though one may extrapolate from his analysis of verbal jokes to ideas about physical, non-verbal jokes--that may discomfit, humiliate, or even harm the victim.
4.0 étoiles sur 5 How society uses joking. 4 novembre 2014
Par Carys - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
A very good insight into joking and its underlying manipulations and uses. The translation made things heavy going though. I will look for it translated by someone else, for comparison.
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