8 avril 2014, séminaire Subversions : Jennifer A. Greenhill, “Translating Jokes across Cultures and Media: the Case of Artemus Ward in London”

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Jennifer A. Greenhill (University of Illinois / Terra Foundation for American Art)

J.GreenhillThis lecture explores the challenge of telling jokes (and studying them) across cultures and media.  It focuses on a little experimental volume published in 1869, Artemus Ward’s Lecture (As Delivered at the Egyptian Hall, London), which attempts to preserve the hilarity of a recently deceased American humorist, Charles Farrar Browne, known as “Artemus Ward,” the character who made President Lincoln laugh during the Civil War and inspired Mark Twain as he developed his own comic techniques. Excessive in its contrivances, the book demonstrates the inevitable awkwardness of intermedial and intercultural translation projects, especially those focused on preserving the subtleties of comic performance and the interactivity of the theatrical encounter.  By examining the book’s layout, illustrations, and typographical variation in the context of mid-nineteenth-century publishing conventions, European conceptions of American culture, and Artemus Ward’s trademark deadpan style of comic delivery, Greenhill will demonstrate the rich complexity of such translation projects and their relevance to the work of contemporary historians of humorous expression.

Mardi 8 avril 2014, 17h-20h, salle 325. L’entrée est ouverte à tous.


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