quarta-feira, maio 11, 2005

Laughing bodies

Laughter is a kind of crossroads. A crossroads centred on the body. And what do I mean by saying the body is the centre of laughter? Firstly, it means the body – or the variety of bodies – is the target of laughter. For example, Pantagruel’s body, or Quixote’s; the stumbling body or the body standing too stiffly to attention; the blocked or wasteful body, they all make me laugh.
At the same time, laughter is an organic reaction. Laughing manifests itself as a morphological change in the body, a change that might start in the lips, eyes or somewhere else, but quickly spreads like a contagious tremor to the whole body, and goes on to infect other bodies close by.
We can say that laughter has its place, as well as its target, in the body – in its own and in the bodies of others.
In other words, correcting the first statement, about the body being a crossroads, laughter is understood as a body-crossing flow. This means that laughter sets up not a place, but a system of flows and that, therefore, laughter is an organic system in transit.