Humor has often been associated with the assertion of aggression or superiority, at least since Sigmund Freud offered his theory of comedy as a manifestation of unconscious hostility in his work “Jokes and their Relation to the Unconscious,” published in 1905. But contemporary comedians like Hannah Gadsby are questioning this idea of a necessary relation between violence and comedy, tension and plot, with provocative implications for our understanding of aesthetic canons and their casualties. What is the future for stand-up comedy? How does the situation of comedy today relate to the shifts taking place in other art forms such as literature?
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