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36 | Toufic El-Khoury www.jrfm.eu 2018, 4/2, 23–37 riage, strongly influenced by European comic traditions (mainly farce). Even if this assertion is open to discussion, we must admit that as a corpus Cavell’s comedies of remarriage do stand to “modern American culture”, as Ronald Hall puts it, “as Shakespearean drama to Elizabethan England, as Tragedy stood to the golden age of the Greeks”.34Those comedies become the reflection of an era’s consideration of the conjugal condition in a specific socio-cultural context, an attempt to make “sense of nonsense”.35 Cavell’s thought, though deeply rooted in his reading of Emerson and Tho- reau and the American transcendentalist movement in general,36 constantly reevaluates Kierkegaard’s dialectic of paradox to explore a topic – marriage – located at the core of Cavell’s discussion of philosophical skepticism.37 Moreo- ver, Kierkegaard’s example can reveal the importance of some philosophical currents in Continental thought that irrigate American culture, as European theater and literature determined the first aspects of American cinematic genre developments. Also – and this could lead to a thorough examination in anoth- er study, on the relation between religion and generic conventions – Kierke- gaard’s and Cavell’s roots in a predominantly Protestant society may provide an additional input to both philosophers’ approaches to the moral foundations of marital conventions. BIBLIOGRAPHY Canova, Marie-Claude, 1993, La Comédie, Contours littéraires, Paris: Hachette. Cavell, Stanley, 1981, Pursuits of Happiness. The Hollywood Comedy of Remarriage, Boston: Harvard University Press. Cavell, Stanley, 1993, À la recherche du bonheur. Hollywood et la comédie du remariage, trans. Christian Fournier and Sandra Laugier, Cahiers du cinéma, “Collections Essais”, Paris: Editions de l’Etoile. de Rougemont, Denis, 2001 , L’Amour et l’Occident, Bibliothèques 10/18, Paris: Plon. Frye, Northrop, 1990 , Anatomy of Criticism. Four Essays, Princeton: Princeton University Press. Garcia, Tristan, 2012, Comédie, in: de Baecque, Antoine / Chevallier, Philippe, Dictionnaire de la pen- sée au cinéma, Paris: PUF, 175–179. 34 Hall 1994, 154. 35 See Lippitt/Hutto 1998, 263. 36 American transcendentalism was a philosophical movement that started in the first decades of the 19th century, was rooted in European (and specifically German) romanticism, and was influenced by Indian (dharmic) religions. Against objective empiricism and 19th-century skepticism (David Hume), transcendentalist authors like Ralph Emerson (Essays, 1841–1844) and David Thoreau (Walden, or Life in the Woods, 1854) believed in the inherent goodness of man and its corruption by the modern world’s stances and demands and promoted individualism and a more direct contact to nature. 37 I would like to thank Nicole Tambourgi-Hatem for her remarks and suggestions that led me to read again Kierkegaard’s Étapes sur le chemin de la vie.
JRFM Journal Religion Film Media, Band 04/02