Improvisational Comedy in the Discourse of German Aesthetic Thought
Keywords:folk tradition, Arlekin, improvised performances, clownish characters, street theatre, comic
The article considers the views of German theorists (from G. E. Lessing to P. Sloterdijk) on comic characters of improvised folk street performances. It is noted that German enlighteners, who defended their position in a struggle with supporters of French classicism, paid attention for the fruitfulness of the folk tradition and its role in the development of the national theatre. The active debate about the comic character that erupted in Germany in the XVIII century revealed more fundamental issues related to the boundaries of beauty in aesthetics. The article highrises not only the theoretical experience of G. E. Lessing and J. W. Goethe regarding the need of preserving the living branch of the folk tradition, but also its use directly in their artistic practice. The point of view of the German enlighteners on the creative potential of farcical improvisations has not lost its relevance in subsequent times. The question of the comic type and the concept of “comic” as a whole became the scientific interest of German scientists of the XIX–XXI centuries. The study of their works expanded the horizons of the problem by proposing its consideration in the philosophical, aesthetic, historical, sociological and art criticism aspects.
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