JoLIE 2:2/2009


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Maria Elisete Almeida

University of Madeira, Portugal






As reminds R. Barthes, everything bears significance in a narrative text. The premise of the semantic and the structural independence, so claims L. Tesnière very often, at the level of the grammatical sentence, may be pertinent if we apply it to the large narrative stance/sentence. As the linguist rightly observes, the semantic node of a sentence is not necessarily found in the syntactic nucleus and it is likely that a subordinate, inaccurately added upon, becomes richer in terms of meaning than the main clause. These are the grounds for a type of irony which Tesnière calls ironie subordonnée. The example he offers is enlightening: “ce diable d’homme, qui devait me couper le cou à la fin du mois, m’inspirait quasiment du respect”.

Whether subordinate or not, irony is one of the commonest resources in humour. By indirectly conveying an idea, it becomes more enjoyable, hot, subtle, therefore, more intelligent. Yet, if it is defined as one of the processes to which man resorts in order to create humour, laughter represents its sheer manifestation.

As a researcher of Camus’s work for many years, I have made up my mind to build as the corpus for this paper, La Chute, since it presents laughter as a topic, not trivial laughter, related to humorous episodes, but to a similar insight as the one of the current selection of papers - that is, laughter which exploits the traits of a phantasmatic phenomenon.


Key words: Irony; Laughter; Humour; Fall; Anaphora.





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Almeida, M.E. (2008). ILE«ILHA, palavra-chave em La Chute « A Queda ou o diálogo da solidão no universo de Albert Camus. Revista Portuguesa de Literatura Comparada Dedalus, 11-12, Associação Portuguesa de Literatura Comparada, 499-511.


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Sperber, M.A. (1969). Camus. The fall: the Icarus complex. American Imago, 26(3), 269-280.


Tesnière, J. (1959). Eléments de syntaxe structurale. Paris: Klincksieck.



How to cite this article: Almeida, M. E. (2009). O riso: Medium entre o grito e o apelo - em La Chute de Albert Camus. Journal of Linguistic and Intercultural Education – JoLIE, 2(2), 13-20. DOI:



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