Brincken, Jörg von
Tours de force - Die Ästhetik des Grotesken in der französischen Pantomime des 19. Jahrhunderts
[Tours de force. The aesthetics of the grotesque in 19th century French pantomime.]
Aims and Scope
19th century French pantomime was notable for its affinities with motifs centering around violence and horror. This double-bind between comical entertainment and more sinister features makes it a cardinal instance of a modern aesthetic that upgraded ugliness in the form of grotesquerie to the status of a guarantor of aesthetic pleasure. Accordingly, this analysis of the theatrical qualities of mute body-play is closely bound up with the contemplation of coeval European discourse on the transcendence of aesthetic frontiers. This applies both to the problems posed by this phenomenon and above all to its potential performative effect.