Live Virtual Auction, 15 February 2020
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“Compulsory Hilarity. An X in Russian is transliterated as Kh, a guttural clearing of the throat like the G in ‘gaan huis toe’. XA is how laughter is designated in the transliteration of the Shostakovich libretto. The policeman, the newspaper clerks and other groups - students, gentlemen - are all required to laugh together in specific rhythms. The oxymoron of ordered laughter is just one of the contradictions in the opera. The bigger question of course is the place of comedy in works that describe or refer to situations of social dislocation and disaster.”1
1. Bronwyn Law-Viljoen (2010) William Kentridge: Nose - Thirty Etchings. Johannesburg. David Krut Publishing. Unpaginated.
Sabine Schaschl (ed.) (2015) William Kentridge The Nose. Germany: Museum Haus Konstruktiv. Another example from the edition illustrated on page 211.