JPP is now following a new Jewish philosophy blog by Matthew Menachem Feuer:
The Home of Schlemiel Theory: The Place Where the Laugh Laughs at the Laugh
in which Matthew avers:
Aristotle starts off his most cited book, The Metaphysics, with the classic line “All men by nature desire to know.” Oedipus also desired to know, but when he found out that he killed his father and married his mother, he cursed this desire. The philosopher doesn’t seem to have a problem with knowledge, but Sophocles, who wrote the play Oedipus Rex, does.
The reason: knowledge of origins is beneficial to a philosopher; tragic for a believer in myth and religion.
I suppose that the knowledge of the schlemiel falls somewhere in between. First of all, its good to know, in the most academic sense, “what” the schlemiel is; on the other hand, and contrary to popular wisdom about comedy, the path to understanding the schlemiel must inevitably lead through an encounter with troubling things.