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The Pleasures of Stupidity: Gary Larson as a Baudelairean Caricaturist

David Carrier
Nineteenth-Century French Studies
Vol. 27, No. 1/2 (Fall—Winter 1998-1999), pp. 62-70
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23537558
Page Count: 9
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
The Pleasures of Stupidity: Gary Larson as a Baudelairean Caricaturist
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Abstract

Applying Charles Baudelaire's theory of caricature to the art of Gary Larson, this article argues that these images express an aggressive pleasure that involves enjoyment of human stupidity. Recognizing that we could not be as foolish as Larson's characters, we viewers thus laugh, acknowledging our superiority to his silly figures. According to Baudelaire, our pleasure in such caricatures shows our fallen nature; this shared pleasure in Larson's art, this article suggests, shows the ways in which in present day post-modern culture ideals of progress have come to be widely questioned.

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