chapter  11
17 Pages

Tragedy and Comedy

Introduction This chapter tries to bring together the notions of fate and destiny by treating fate as the need to invest meaning in oneself as this takes shape as a symptom that is both inescapable as a particular style of existence that operates like a signature and as an incentive for more, for the desire to rise above such a trademark and be innovative in relation to this inheritance. I use T.J. Clark’s analyses of the paintings of Pouisson to see his art as an intended solution to this division between life and death that he advances through the idea of an “awakening.” I treat fate as the way the contingencies of a life become legible as the façade of a history and life and destiny as the inescapable narrative that any such conclusion can fertilize (Clark 2006). This opens the door to a speculation on how a comedic relationship to mortality and its dependency on an unknown future, and the uses made of us in the hands of others can serve as a contrast to the pathos of tragedy and its foretelling of a nomadic passage through the corridors of eternity.