By Joanne R. Gilbert

A rhetorical research of lady stand-up comics that explores the relationships between humor, gender, and tool in modern tradition.

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Extra info for Performing Marginality: Humor, Gender, and Cultural Critique (Humor in Life and Letters Series)

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85 George Steiner notes that “Büchner’s instantaneous ripeness staggers belief. ”88 He authored three plays during the mid-1830s, two of which, Danton’s Death (Dantons Tod, 1835) and Woyzeck (found in fragments decades after his death), are touchstones for critical thinking and writing on modern drama. ”89 Before moving on to the three giants of modern drama – Ibsen, Strindberg, and Chekhov – it behooves us to consider the importance of Büchner as an arbiter of things to come. Büchner’s Danton’s Death and Woyzeck dwell in the realm of the philosophical, historical, epic, and tragic.

The world of appearances is what Kant said: it is all we can fathom; and for Schopenhauer and Büchner the life urgings prompted by the will (desire) are nothing more than urges towards preservation and consumption. The use of things and their possession, as in the case of politics and love in Danton’s Death and Woyzeck respectively, fail because we cannot truly know what they mean or what they are except as mere possession – mere phenomena that eventually disappoint. Desire is illusionary; we are nothing more than riding a wave.

Poverty was not new, but the context and source of poverty was, and this new proletariat experienced nothing less than a traumatic condition. Büchner condemns this modernized world for its alienation and de-humanization. ” For Brombert, “the most telling moment is doubtless the instant of revelation of raw sexuality as Woyzeck, standing outside the open window of the inn, watches Marie and the Drum Major dance by in a symbolic embrace to the accompaniment of Marie’s repeated goading: ‘On and on.

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