Comedy and Negativity

  • Gregor Moder
Keywords: comedy, contraction, lacuna, negativity, torsion


This paper’s point of departure is the idea that the negativity of contemporary philosophy corresponds to the negativity of comedy. After a brief review of the metaphysical hierarchy of being and of poetic genres, three competing contemporary concepts of negativity are proposed and discussed with examples from theory and comedy: torsion, lacuna, and contraction. Torsion refers to any concept of decline that constitutes being and is demonstrated in Althusser’s use of the Epicurean clinamen.

In comedy, torsion refers to comic uses of the fluidity of sexuality. Furthermore, lacuna refers to an ontological gap or hiatus, and can be seen at work in the Lacanian concept of the phallus. Accordingly, the comedy of the lacuna is a comedy of detachable phallic objects. Finally, contraction is a concept from the Deleuzian ontology of the virtual and is exemplified by the elasticity of language.

Author Biography

Gregor Moder

PhD in Philosophy, Assistant Professor
University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts, Department of Philosophy
Kongresni trg 12,  Ljubljana, Slovenia 1000


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How to Cite
Moder, G. (2013). Comedy and Negativity. Stasis, 1(1). Retrieved from