On fear and the grotesque world

We have already seen that the medieval and Renaissance grotesque, filled with the spirit of carnival, liberates the world from all that is dark and terrifying; it takes away all fears and is therefore completely gay and bright.  All that was frightening in ordinary life is turned into amusing or ludicrous monstrosities.

Fear is the extreme expression of narrow-minded and stupid seriousness, which is defeated by laughter.

– Mikhail Bakhtin, Rabelais and His World

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