The pleasures of documentary tragedy

British Journal of Aesthetics 47 (2):184-198 (2007)

Abstract

Two assumptions are common in discussions of the paradox of tragedy: (1) that tragic pleasure requires that the work be fictional or, if non-fiction, then non-transparently represented; and (2) that tragic pleasure may be provoked by a wide variety of art forms. In opposition to (1) I argue that certain documentaries could produce tragic pleasure. This is not to say that any sad or painful documentary could do so. In considering which documentaries might be plausible candidates, I further argue, against (2), that the scope of tragic pleasure is limited to works that possess certain thematic and narrative features.

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Author's Profile

Stacie Friend
Birkbeck, University of London

References found in this work

Imagining and Believing: The Promise of a Single Code.Shaun Nichols - 2004 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 62 (2):129-39.
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Tragedy Anbd Self-Sufficiency: Plato and Aristotle on Fear and Pity.Martha Nussbaum - 1992 - Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 10:107-159.
Tragedy.Aaron Ridley - 2003 - In Jerrold Levinson (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Aesthetics. Oxford University Press.
Tragedy and the Community of Sentiment.Flint Schier - 1983 - In Peter Lamarque (ed.), Philosophy and Fiction: Essays in Literary Aesthetics. Aberdeen University Press. pp. 73--92.

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