[LMB] genres, and Miles

John Lennard john.c.lennard at gmail.com
Mon Jan 31 00:44:02 GMT 2011


evolutionarily innocent royce {{{no. Lois does not write farce; the closest
she's ever come was the dinner
party disaster in ACC. overall, I don't like farce in writing although of
course I enjoy it on screen like every other evolved monkey (you DO realize
that farce is simply our orangutan ancestoral genes coming out to play...)
}}}

John: Charming piffle. For the record, 'farce' is from Latin *farcere*, to
stuff, and emerged as a dramatic label in C19 French drama for a frenetic
style of comedy -- one might say that thrash : rock :: farce : comedy ;
everything at a million miles and hour, and hence everyone being caught
short all the time, usually with their trousers down. The label has since
been proposed and pretty much accepted for a few earlier plays that went
that way, notably Ben Jonson's *The Alchemist* (1616); and variants have
been named, notably 'bedroom farce'.

I'm inclined myself to think of the ... well, THALG-y elements in Lois's
earlier work as 'screwball' or 'madcap' adventures rather than farce per se,
but there's certainly an element of stuff happening at a loony clip (esp.
WA) that is farcical. And in any case, the films that defined 'screwball'
comedy, frex *Bringing Up Baby*, were a development of farces, which
prospered on stage throughout the first half of the C20.

Lois the farceur? Yup, at will. But in fairness, the will has been much less
evident since the early Vorkosiverse, and less evident still in the 5GU and
WGW.
-- 
John Lennard, MA DPhil. (Oxon.), MA (WU)
Director of Studies in English, St Catharine's College

General editor, Humanities-E-Books Genre Fiction Sightlines and Monographs
www.humanities-ebooks.co.uk



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