Introduction: The Phenomenological Background.
1. Themes in The General.
2. Style in The General.
3. Keaton, Chaplin, Lloyd, and Langdon.
Appendix: Narration in Keaton's The General.
Tom Gunning, University of Chicago
“Comedy Incarnate is a brilliant, inventive and lucid examination of Buster Keaton’s The General. Through close textual analysis, Carroll opens up a wide expanse of historical and theoretical territory – positioning The General in relation to the writings of Merleau-Ponty, Bergson, and Poulet, as well as to the films of Chaplin, Lloyd, and Langdon. Lucy Fischer, University of Pittsburgh
"Building on Keaton's directorial practice as a sort of civil engineer who engaged a mechanical universe, Carroll...investigates how Keaton's emphasis on gags and their intelligibility characterize the film in specific ways. In so doing he opens up an understanding of how Keaton's comedy of body intelligence works, especially in contrast to contemporaries like Charlie Chaplin and Harold Lloyd, and he shows how intelligence--the artist's and the viewer's--informs laughter." CHOICE
- Explores the intricacies of Buster Keaton’s unique style to discover what provokes laughter in his timeless films, paying special attention to The General
- Bold and provocative thesis written by one of America’s foremost film theorists
- Takes a unique look at the philosophies behind Keaton’s style
- Weighs visual elements over narrative form in the analysis of the Keaton’s work
- Provides a fresh vantage point for analysis of film and comedy itself