The Void and the Black and the Bare

Alexi Kukuljevic
Art Sciences and Art Education, Art Theory
2020S, scientific seminar (SEW), 4.0 ECTS, 2.0 semester hours, course number S03318

Description

“Laughter is merely a form of expression, a symptom, an outward sign. Symptom of what? That is the whole question.” – Charles Baudelaire

In this seminar, we are going to examine the role that horror and hilarity plays in the work of Poe, Baudelaire and Beckett. I place the stress on the conjunction “and,” because what is here at issue is the horribly hilarious: an object that lures and repels, attracts and repulses, an object, in other word, that is thus quintessentially ambivalent. It is something akin to what Julia Kristeva refers to as the abject. The abject is a “jettisoned object” whose very absence nonetheless “draws me toward the place where meaning collapses.” Laughter here serves to sustain the “me” drawn to this vertiginous place where sense no longer makes sense. If the poet, as Baudelaire suggests in the poem “Obsession,” seeks the void, the black and the bare, this search can itself only be sustained by a diabolically comic tone. Otherwise one would simply be engulfed by the flames. The poet can only make oblivion itself into its most cherished object, hell itself into a place where the heart is at home, by forging a new language and tone that finds humor in the humorless. This entails, however, that the subject of the poem, and the subject of thought itself, must be fundamentally be rethought. The human being here at issue, as Baudelaire suggests of Poe, is a “man so out of tune with himself as to express grief by laughter.” What stories does such a man write? They are stories that are not merely grief stricken but subtended by laughter. Such grief stricken laughter is what Beckett in Watt refers to as the mirthless laugh, which he distinguishes from the laugh that is either bitter or hollow:

The bitter, hollow and — haw! haw! — the mirthless. The bitter laugh laughs at that which is not good, it is the ethical laugh. The hollow laugh laughs at that which is not true, it is the intellectual laugh. Not good! Not true! Well, well. But the mirthless laugh is the dianoetic laugh, down the snout — haw! — so. It is the laugh of laughs, the beholding, the saluting of the highest joke, in a word the laugh that laughs — silent please — at that which is unhappy.

Over the course of the semester, closely attending particularly to the writing of Baudelaire and Beckett, we shall attempt to delineate what the latter calls dianoietic laughter, i.e., the laughter engendered in and through the movement of thought.

Examination Modalities

Anwesenheit, Mitarbeit, ev. kurzer Text!

Comments

INFOS ZUR ABHALTUNG DER LEHRVERANSTALTUNG WÄHREND DER COVID-19-MAßNAHMEN

Da bis auf Widerruf die Abhaltung sämtlicher Lehrveranstaltungen mit Präsenz nicht möglich ist, werden wir auf elektronische Mittel (Mail, Zoom, WeTransfer) zurückgreifen. Ein Abschluss der Lehrveranstaltung ist damit mit Ende des Sommersemesters möglich: 

- Die benötigten Materialien werden den Studierenden elektronisch (Mail, Base, WeTransfer) bereitgestellt

- Die wöchentlichen Termine finden zu den geplanten Zeiten via Zoom statt, eine Einladung zum Meeting an die teilnehmenden Studierenden erfolgt jeweils kurz vor Lehrveranstaltungsbeginn

 

Alle TeilnehmerInnen sind bereits per Email über den alternativen Ablauf informiert. Bei Fragen bitte ich um eine Email an: alexi.kukuljevic@uni-ak.ac.at.

 

Dates

11 March 2020, 12:45–14:15 Betreuung via Mail
18 March 2020, 12:45–14:15 Zoom-Meeting
25 March 2020, 12:45–14:15 Zoom-Meeting
01 April 2020, 12:45–14:15 Zoom-Meeting
22 April 2020, 12:45–14:15 Zoom-Meeting
29 April 2020, 12:45–14:15 Zoom-Meeting
06 May 2020, 12:45–14:15 Zoom-Meeting
13 May 2020, 12:45–14:15 Zoom-Meeting
20 May 2020, 12:45–14:15 Zoom-Meeting
27 May 2020, 12:45–14:15 Zoom-Meeting
03 June 2020, 12:45–14:15 Zoom-Meeting
10 June 2020, 12:45–14:15 Zoom-Meeting
17 June 2020, 12:45–14:15 Zoom-Meeting

Course Enrolment

Until 11 March 2020, 12:00
via email: alexi.kukuljevic@uni-ak.ac.at

co-registration: possible

Art Education: subject kkp (Bachelor): FOR: aus Kunsttheorie

Art Education: subject kkp (Bachelor): FOR: Lehrveranstaltungen nach Wahl aus Wissenschaftliche Praxis

Art Education: subject kkp (Master): Lehrveranstaltung nach Wahl aus wissenschaftlicher Praxis, SE

Art Education: subject kkp (Enhancements study): FOR: Seminar aus dem Bereich Kunst- und Kulturwissenschaften

Art Education: subject kkp (Enhancements study): FOR: Lehrveranstaltungen nach Wahl aus Wissenschaftliche Praxis

Art Education: subject tex (Bachelor): FOR: Lehrveranstaltungen nach Wahl aus Wissenschaftliche Praxis

Art Education: subject tex (Master): Lehrveranstaltung nach Wahl aus wissenschaftlicher Praxis, SE

Art Education: subject tex (Enhancements study): FOR: Seminar aus dem Bereich Kunst- und Kulturwissenschaften

Art Education: subject tex (Enhancements study): FOR: Lehrveranstaltungen nach Wahl aus Wissenschaftliche Praxis

Art Education: subject dae (Bachelor): FOR: Lehrveranstaltungen nach Wahl aus Wissenschaftliche Praxis

Art Education: subject dae (Master): Lehrveranstaltung nach Wahl aus wissenschaftlicher Praxis, SE

Art Education: subject dae (Enhancements study): FOR: Seminar aus dem Bereich Kunst- und Kulturwissenschaften

Art Education: subject dae (Enhancements study): FOR: Lehrveranstaltungen nach Wahl aus Wissenschaftliche Praxis

Art Education: subject dex (Bachelor): FOR: Lehrveranstaltungen nach Wahl aus Wissenschaftliche Praxis

Art Education: subject dex (Master): Lehrveranstaltung nach Wahl aus wissenschaftlicher Praxis, SE

Art Education: subject dex (Enhancements study): FOR: Seminar aus dem Bereich Kunst- und Kulturwissenschaften

Art Education: subject dex (Enhancements study): FOR: Lehrveranstaltungen nach Wahl aus Wissenschaftliche Praxis

TransArts - Transdisciplinary Arts (Bachelor): Theoretical foundations

Stage Design (1. Section): Kunsttheorie

Stage Design (2. Section): Kunsttheorie

Media Arts: Specialisation in Transmedia Arts (1. Section): Kulturwissenschaften

Media Arts: Specialisation in Transmedia Arts (2. Section): Kunsttheorie

Media Arts: Specialisation in Digital Arts (1. Section): Kulturwissenschaften

Media Arts: Specialisation in Digital Arts (2. Section): Kunsttheorie

Design: Specialisation in Graphics and Advertising (2. Section): Humanities

Design: Specialisation in Fashion Design (1. Section): Free Elective Pool Methodological and Theoretical Basics

Fine Arts: Specialisation in Photography (2. Section): Kultur- und Geistesgeschichte (2.0 ECTS)

Conservation and Restoration (2. Section): Kunst- und Kulturgeschichte

Fine Arts (2. Section): Art Theory, Cultural Studies, Art History, Philosophy

Fine Arts (2. Section): Free Electives out of Scientific and Research Practice

Design: Specialisation in Applied Photography and Time-based Media (2. Section): Humanities

Fine Arts: Specialisation in Painting (2. Section): Kultur- und Geistesgeschichte (2.0 ECTS)

Fine Arts: Specialisation in Painting (2. Section): Geisteswissenschaftliche LV nach Wahl (2.0 ECTS)

Fine Arts: Specialisation in Graphics (2. Section): Kultur- und Geistesgeschichte (2.0 ECTS)

Individual courses: possible