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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Still, there is no doubt that Pursuits of Happiness cavsll to rethink the nature of philosophy and, in turn, its relations to tragedy and comedy. This disagreement may be, once again, due to the different parts of political life the two are considering. Like Protagoras, Cavell conceives, of politics, moreover, as a paideia, hence his emphasis on films of conversation and on the affinity of these films to philosophical conversation.

Comedy and tragedy, we might rephrase him, lursuits have many shapes and embodiments; myth, theater, and film tell us just this in their multiple stories.

The former is the sphere in which man and wife, parents and children, masters and servants interact and it is as such a thoroughly non-political sphere. Cavell’s reading of these films is challenging and delightful. They are also a pursuuits, and are about something. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Read, highlight, and take notes, across web, tablet, and phone. Trivia About Pursuits of Happi Weber under the impact of the First World War and the consequent political turmoil in Germany, Cavell in an age of American prosperity and political stability.

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.


Thus, even child rearing is to be thought of as a pursuitts undertaking. Against his hopes, these films have, in fact, not become the common possession of our culture. Nov 15, Blair rated it it was amazing Shelves: This conception allows us to see, moreover, that all governmental politics must ultimately emerge from micropolitical conditions.

They just are at home with one another, whether or pursuigs they can live together under the same roof, that is, find a roof they can live together under.

Extrapolating from Schmitt we can ask, moreover, whether it is not the case that forms of friendship, political or otherwise, are not built on a friend-enemy duality.

We are hearing about the natural aristocracy that democracy needs. It also, as the film it is, refers repeatedly to itself. It might be objected both these films and Cavell in discussing them are too pre-occupied with American conditions, that the depiction of the relation of man and woman in these comedies refers us only to a distinctively American context and that, more generally speaking, Philadelphia will never mean as much to the world community as it has meant and perhaps still means for Americans.

There is no other life for them, and this one suffices. It requires two individuals, who are bound to a common purpose or activity. It is a project of the genre of remarriage to refuse to draw a conclusion from this premise but rather to turn the tables on farce, to turn marriage itself into romance, into adventure, which for Walter and Hildy means to preserve within it something of the illicit, to find as it were a moral equivalent of the immoral.

Pursuits of Happiness: The Hollywood Comedy of Remarriage – Stanley Cavell – Google Books

He points out that “only lf of Cavell’s seven comedies deal with characters who we actually see interacting as husband and wife for any length of time” and points out that all seven films fit into the happuness comedy genre.


If you have any interest in marriage, getting married or being married, this is an absolute must-read. This is coming from someone well-versed in the philosophical cannon that Cavell drew from.

On the form of the ideal, the conversation, which remains independent of content: In The Philadelphia Storythough, the last of the seven films in the genre, we are and remain in Philadelphia.

Pursuits of Happiness

The comedy of remarriage enabled filmmakers to evade this provision of the Code. We must rather assume that those engaged in actual politics, those concerned with defining, establishing, and maintaining their social union will have to work such principles out for themselves.

Cvell means to say that there exists no political grouping without a potential adversary and that all politics, therefore, has an adversarial character. Greer rated it did not like it Sep 05, I definitely feel there is an abuse of commas and appositions that either confuse me or pursukts C.

Comedy of remarriage

Oct 19, Amelia rated it really liked it. For Weber the theatrical form of politics inevitably obscures its tragic foundations. This sought to exploit all the resources of the new media, it drew consciously on the insights of mass psychology and the techniques of the advertising industry, it organized rallies designed to empower followers and to dishearten opponents, it bedazzled with flags, uniforms, and parades; it instituted politics as a spectacle.

Something, I think, like that. In the space left by the right’s irrelevance, and the left’s silence, the public language left to talk about relationships, love, and marriage turns towards the platitude. He is worried that he is bringing too heavy a lens to so light a subject and he is right.