a) The condition of a cheerful mood makes one more inclined to laugh and find pleasure in the comic.

b) The condition of an expectation of the comic, in attuning one to comic pleasure also therefore produces a favourable effect.

c) Conversely, imaginative or intellectual work that pursues serious aims interferes with the capacity of the cathexes for discharge - so that only unexpectedly large differences in expenditure are able to break through to comic pleasure.

d) Similarly, if attention is focused precisely on the comparison from which the comic may emerge, the release of comic pleasure disappears.

e) The comic is also greatly interfered with if the situation from which it ought to develop gives rise at the same time to releasing strong affects - such as the disposition and attitude of the individual. This can both accent and diminish the comic.

f) Additionally, the generating of comic pleasure can be encouraged by any other pleasurable accompanying circumstances, as though by some sort of contagious effect (like the fore- pleasure principle in tendentious jokes).

Whilst Freud acknowledges that this may not be an exhaustive list of the conditions governing comic pleasure - they are the ones that relate best to jokes, and serve to demonstrate that comic pleasure cannot be explained so easily as the simple hypothesis that is derives from the discharge of a difference.

5. Freud then looks briefly at the comic of sexuality and obscenity, and its relation to jokes. He proposes that this case approaches the naïvely comic, but is simpler - since every exposure of which we are made the spectator by a third person is equivalent to the exposed person being made comic. Furthermore, Freud proposes that these spheres are significant as they offer many occasions for the comic - for they can show human beings in their dependence on bodily needs (degradation) or they can reveal the physical demands lying behind the claim of mental love (unmasking).

6. Here, Freud addresses psychogenesis of the comic. He proposes that since he has traced jokes back to children's play with words and thoughts, which has been frustrated by rational criticism, there are probably infantile roots to the comic too. Since in children we describe as naïvely comic utterances that in an adult we would call obscenities or jokes. Freud therefore proposes that to find the essence of comic, in a preconscious link with the infantile, the comparison need only touch upon childish nature in general. So, Freud returns to the locations of the comic difference again:

a) by a comparison between another person and oneself
b) by a comparison entirely with the other person
c) by a comparison entirely with oneself.

In the first of these cases, the other person would appear to me as a child, in the second he would reduce himself to a child and in the third I should discover the child in myself.

Freud approaches the final conclusion that "those things are comic which are not proper for adults" with some trepidation though, since he acknowledges that he remains uncertain as to whether degradation to being a child is only a special case of comic degradation, or whether everything comic is based fundamentally on degradation to being a child.

7. Freud here points out the relation between the comic and humour. Since, he proposes, that explaining the comic is bound to make at least some contribution to an understanding of humour. Having found that the release of distressing affects ends the emergence of the comic, humour can be seen as a means of obtaining pleasure in spite of the distressing affects that interfere with it. Therefore the pleasure of humour, arises with the cost of a release of affect that does not occur - i.e. it arises from an economy in the expenditure of affect. Species of humour are immensely varied according to the nature of the emotion that is economized in its favour: pity, anger, pain, tenderness etc. Freud proposes that the processes

  By PanEris using Melati.

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