Article

‘Calmly Making Ribbons of the Natural Order’: The Third Policeman, the Culture Industry, and Right Laughter

Author: Susanne Hillman (University of California, San Diego)

  • ‘Calmly Making Ribbons of the Natural Order’: The Third Policeman, the Culture Industry, and Right Laughter

    Article

    ‘Calmly Making Ribbons of the Natural Order’: The Third Policeman, the Culture Industry, and Right Laughter

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Abstract

This article reads The Third Policeman through the lens of Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno’s ‘The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception,’ focussing specifically on the distinction they develop between ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ laughter. Through a close reading of key scenes in the novel, it is shown how The Third Policeman offers multiple occasions for resistance to the passive, de-politicising consumption of amusement through a form of 'right laughter' that hinges upon a comic embrace of unpredictability and meaninglessness.

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Keywords: Max Horkheimer, Theodor Adorno, Theories of Laughter, Frankfurt School, Culture Industry, The Third Policeman

How to Cite:

Hillman, S., (2016) “‘Calmly Making Ribbons of the Natural Order’: The Third Policeman, the Culture Industry, and Right Laughter”, The Parish Review: Journal of Flann O'Brien Studies 3(2), p.21-34. doi: https://doi.org/10.16995/pr.3218

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Published on
13 May 2016
Peer Reviewed