Karl Valentin's Illogical Subversion: Stand-up Comedy and Alienation Effect

Wilson, Mike and Double, Oliver (2004) Karl Valentin's Illogical Subversion: Stand-up Comedy and Alienation Effect. New Theatre Quarterly, 20 (3). pp. 203-215. ISSN 0266-464X

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Abstract / Summary

Admired by Brecht, yet also counting Hitler among his fans, the German cabaret performer Karl Valentin remains an enigmatic figure for most English-speaking theatre people; and his accommodation as a licensed jester during the Nazi years has reinforced the received wisdom that his comedy was ultimately offering reassurances of their own supremacy to bourgeois audiences. Here, Oliver Double and Michael Wilson outline Valentin's life and career, and offer an analysis of his performance style closely linked to two of his best-known routines, which are here also translated for the first time into English. They conclude that Valentin's idiosyncratic style of surreal logic had an effect akin to that of Brecht's Verfremdung, of making the familiar strange, and so, while often extremely funny in its unexpected dislocations, never offering a simple view either of comedy or of life.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number: 10.1017/S0266464X04000107
ISSN: 0266-464X
Subjects: ?? 790 ??
?? 792 ??
Depositing User: Mike Wilson
Date Deposited: 24 Oct 2014 09:47
Last Modified: 24 Oct 2014 09:47
URI: http://repository.falmouth.ac.uk/id/eprint/639

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