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Graphic Novels as Philosophy$
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Jeff McLaughlin

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781496813275

Published to University Press of Mississippi: May 2019

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496813275.001.0001

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Asterix, Carnival, and the Wonder of Everyday Life

Asterix, Carnival, and the Wonder of Everyday Life

(p.105) Asterix, Carnival, and the Wonder of Everyday Life
Graphic Novels as Philosophy

Jeremy Barris

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter looks at how René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo's Asterix novels present a charmingly silly world. It specifically examines Asterix at the Olympic Games, illustrating how its silly, unpretentious humor does not just offer escapist entertainment, but also embodies and presents its readers with a deep appreciation of the ordinary and everyday. The chapter shows that Asterix at the Olympic Games achieves the possibility of this deeper insight into the everyday world paradoxically, by departing from the most basic functioning of that world and so by taking people radically out of the ordinary and everyday. This paradoxical achievement has strong similarities with that of the carnival tradition that the Russian scholar Mikhail Bakhtin describes in connection with medieval folk festivals.

Keywords:   Asterix, novels, silly world, unpretentious humor, everyday world, escapist entertainment, carnival, Mikhail Bakhtin

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