Jürgens, A.-S. "Batman’s Joker, a neo-modern clown of violence." In: Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics 5.4 (2014), S. 441–454.
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|Resource type: Journal Article
BibTeX citation key: Jrgens2014
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Keywords: "Batman", Performance, Superhero, Theatre, USA, Violence
Collection: Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics
Besides the doltishly clumsy, amusingly simple and happily idiotic type of clown, there is the evil violent clown. Violent clowns can be traced back to the (circus-)pantomimes of the nineteenth century, to circus tradition and circus literature. Thus, on the basis of the popular corpo-eccentric clown-theatre presented by the French Théâtre des Funambules between 1819 and 1846, as well as the pantomimes of the brothers Hanlon-Lee, this article presents Batman’s Joker as descendant of a specifically violent circus tradition and its reflection in literature. Baudelaire and Adorno understand the aesthetic of violence characteristic of these circus pantomime clowns as the essence of modernity. The appearance and playful rearrangement, montage and reinterpretation of historical (circus) clown elements are typical for Batman’s Joker. Thus, he can be described as a neo-modern clown of violence.
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