Essays in Honour of Gabriele Müller-Oberhäuser
Edited By Simon Rosenberg and Sandra Simon
Book Value Categories in Television Comedy Shows
Simon Rosenberg, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität, Münster
Effective humour almost always works best if a commonly accepted premise is addressed and then broken by some form of incongruity. This article argues that by using book value categories, bookish aspects in TV comedy shows can shed more light on our understanding of the book in past and present.
A monk is sitting in a dark room in a monastery, dimly lit by candles. Sitting in front of a book that is lying on the table, the monk seems anxious. Suddenly, someone knocks on the door. Another monk enters and asks for a monk named Ansgar. The monk with the book turns around and eagerly asks the other to sit down. It is revealed that the monk is distressed because he is having difficulty with a new medium: the book in codex form. He does not know how to handle it properly, especially how to open it and how to turn the pages back and forth. Most importantly, he is unsure whether the content is safe when he closes the book. Luckily, the man who just entered the room is a member of the help desk (an anachronistically used term describing the service of assistance for customers concerning information technology) and can successfully and patiently answer all the questions and solve all the problems, even though the monk he leaves behind is still somewhat sceptical of the new object.
Years after its...
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