Friday, May 14, 2010

Internal Aristotelian tension

The people in tragedies, according to Aristotle, are better than the rest of us, while the people in comedies are worse. In a certain kind of modern comic romance, though, the two primary stipulations are that the main characters be better-looking and duller than the audience, which produces a self-canceling wash of emotions. No cathartic tears or therapeutic laughter, but instead a mild, smiley stupefaction.

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