This chapter provides new descriptions of central dimensions in comic fictions. It discusses comic fictions as hypotheses of reality-status and shows that the perception of humour is an illocutionary mental act, related to an autonomic response, laughter, at a high level of arousal and mental overload. It discusses the relations between the comic and pleasure, and the role of empathy and voluntary acts as exemplified in our relations to clowns. It also discusses the role of the comic in narrative sequences, especially the way in which, as a parasympathetic reaction, it supports ‘fusion’ and incorporation.
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