Semiotics at the Circus (Semiotics, Communication and by Paul Bouissac

By Paul Bouissac

What do circus performances converse? they're wealthy in severe talents and shrewdpermanent staging, They set off robust feelings, They make appealing experience, This book_ that is grounded within the own circus adventure of the author_ makes use of semiotics_ pragmatics_ and cultural experiences to give an explanation for why we're irresistibly interested in the circus, It exhibits how semiotics might be utilized to appreciate and increase our entertainment,

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Additional info for Semiotics at the Circus (Semiotics, Communication and Cognition)

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Circus acts as conceptions and implementations of “programs” display events of rather high order of complexity that only brains of potentially similar capacity can follow and understand. The nature of this “understanding” deserves close scrutiny, because it is far from obvious that what even an articulate spectator is able to report verbally about his/her experience actually is what is the most cognitively relevant in processing all the information comprising this experience. A feeling of saturation is quite common when one has just left a circus performance, and it takes some time until some form of selective reporting can be made.

Luria 1973). As circus acts are performed in relation to an environment exclusively made for them, such actions are almost as clear as a logical formula because each component is isolated, then recombined in a sequence perfectly disentangled from the confusing complexity of the indefinite components of “reality”. In addition, the actions displayed in the circus ring are totally explicit; there is no ellipsis 36 Chapter 2 The time of the circus whatsoever, contrary to actions represented in theatrical plays or in narratives in which time gaps and retrospections (flashback) are usual.

3. , Piaget 1971a; Brandstr¨adter 2006) have pointed out that there is no such thing as an intuitive, immediate, pure perception of the flow of time but that, as for spatial organization, sequential steps are necessary towards the construction of personal and socio-cultural time. As put by Miller and Johnson-Laird: “The growth of a child’s grasp of temporal relations and concept requires a number of years as Piaget has shown, and the final articulated system is likely to depend on the technology of the culture in which the child is raised” (1976: 76) or in Mair’s words: “The perception of temporality itself is built into the (cultural) structure through which the individual awareness makes its path.

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