Here, Stanley Cavell names this new genre of American film–“the comedy of remarriage”–and Pursuits of Happiness: The Hollywood Comedy of Remarriage. Here, Stanley Cavell examines seven of those classic movies for their cinematic techniques, Pursuits of Happiness: The Hollywood Comedy of Remarriage. Pursuits of Happiness: Cavell and Film Criticism. Leland Foague. In “Harvard Film Studies: A Review, ” Brian Henderson justly scores Stanley Cavell (among.

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Return to Book Page. There is also the social fact of a generation of female stars, all born between andall figuratively speaking the daughters of the first tough and public feminists and all thus ready, by their thirties, to throw themselves with puzzled gusto improvising much of the way into films which ask what a new woman, now the public fights are won, oursuits be.

The ordinary and everyday may be subject to political regulation but they lack a political character of their hapiness.

Contents Words for a Conversation. Grant sits down at a table with Bellamy and Rosalind Russell in and says again: The film is for Cavell about the diverse kinds of happiness and unhappiness of its protagonists: So the films indirectly address one of uappiness deepest questions.

The left actually adopted the laughable position that changing marriage norms would affect no one who was heterosexual, as though fundamental changes in the meanings and institutions by which people take their bearings would have no effect on them. Preview — Pursuits of Happiness by Stanley Cavell.

And he makes sure that we do not forget this important conclusion, first drawn in the discussion of Bringing Up Baby, by reaffirming it in his chapter on The Philadelphia Story where he writes: Notes caveol Stanley Cavell, Pursuits of Happiness. This page was last edited on 21 Novemberat In Old Comedy, the emphasis is on the young woman.

Stanley Cavell and the Pursuits of Happiness

Men and women as men and women, and as citizens too, are accordingly divorced from an unreflective past into a deeply green world, in and from which they have to fashion a new relation, a new covenant, a new and more dignified because more self-knowing intimacy which is bred from desire and secured, in remarriage and the United States, in a dignified and democratic parity.


A conversation is static, in that it remains what it is, and yet can be novel and pirsuits as well. In order to flourish, they must create their own human world, make up language, produce clothes, build houses, and obtain food. Actually, to begin with, long before talking films, civil rights and ready divorce, there is Old and New Comedy.

It confirms my feeling that these movies are some of the most pursuifs, joyful, and also intelligent comments on romance and marriage as an ongoing negotiation between two equals that are never boring.

Geoffrey Hawthorn reviews ‘Pursuits of Happiness’ by Stanley Cavell · LRB 1 April

However, I found it pretty hard-going – the language is very flowery and Cavell approaches film theory from a philosophical and literary background, which is vastly different to the semiotic, ideological and psychoanalytical approaches more commonly used when analysing film.

We can respond to these questions by arguing, first, that the common description of politics as rule of the state singles out only some aspects of political life, that the micropolitics of everyday life is as much part of political life as the high business of government, and that this is obscured only by our unreasoned adherence to the narrow Platonic-Aristotelian characterization of politics as government. University of Texas Press. Cavell does not consult them.

This is, perhaps, most evident in the pomp and circumstance of royal regimes but even the most austere form of democracy has its dramatic qualities just as the lowliest Quaker hall has its aesthetics.

Pursuits of Happiness: The Hollywood Comedy of Remarriage by Stanley Cavell

It is not that Cavell is altogether blind to the tragic potential of his films. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account.


Even so, Cavell is keen to downplay the tragic consequences.

We laugh because laughter is a reply to the practical fact and conceptual impossibility of being alone; a reply also to the practical fact of mutual desire and the conceptual puzzle of being one within two. We can read his book as evidence for the weakening of this classical conception over the course of the last century and a half — a process that is by no means completed but one that has already begun to undermine all our traditional philosophical conceptions of the nature of the political.

Second, theater often borrows its themes from politics and can thus help to reveal the truth in and about politics; it can also preserve political memory, and it can envisage new forms of political existence. It is different also from the conditions under which Cavell wrote his book on these comedies.

The New York Times April 4, But what can such a global union look like? Retrieved from ” https: Our tradition has always seen political thought as cavelp effort to provide formulas for pirsuits coexistence, foundations for the state, and apriori principles of political action and political judgment. This does not or should not mean that we can altogether neglect the large-scale hsppiness of government and the state; it involves rather a broadening of our conception of the political beyond the narrow confines of the Platonic-Aristotelian model, and it implies presumably also involves a commitment to the idea that the great politics of the public sphere is based on the politics of the ordinary and can be understood only in its terms and by means of its characteristic notions.