A Companion to Satire: Ancient and Modern by Ruben Quintero

By Ruben Quintero

This choice of twenty-nine unique essays, surveys satire from its emergence in Western literature to the current.

  • Tracks satire from its first appearances within the prophetic books of the outdated testomony in the course of the Renaissance and the English culture in satire to Michael Moore’s satirical motion picture Fahrenheit 11th of September .
  • Highlights the $64000 impression of the Bible within the literary and cultural improvement of Western satire.
  • Focused almost always on significant classical and eu impacts on and works of English satire, but additionally explores the advanced and fertile cultural cross-semination in the culture of literary satire.

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While the two modes clash in the Homeric episode, they are gradually interwoven in the ancient comic and satiric tradition, a phenomenon that reflects their respective utility. The ridiculous and vulnerable image of the oppositional speaker has a double edge, for such a figure, having no reputation to lose, may more freely communicate biting criticisms of powerful individuals. Many authors adopt a stance that is more degraded than authoritative, as if borrowing the paradoxical license of ‘‘the basest man before Ilion’’ (216).

The iambographers combine the aggression of Thersites with the status and the coercive abusive strategy of Odysseus. Archilochos’ attacks on a man named Lykambes, and Hipponax’s abuse of Boupalos and Athenis, were famous in antiquity not just for their display of poetic skill, but for their savagery, which allegedly drove the victims to suicide. The extraordinary similarity between these two stories makes them more than a little suspect. But they reflect a superstition that abusive words can have the effect of real violence (a theme in the satiric tradition; Elliott 1960).

It casts doubt on the reliability of sensory experience. Such satire repeatedly places us in singularly uncomfortable, threatening situations, situations that force us to see ourselves in ways that overturn 28 Thomas Jemielity conventional experiential associations. We see ourselves sexually and scatologically, naked and diseased, insignificant and transitory, without value, without dignity. This satire at its most disturbing is the cattle car stuffed with human beings who must urinate, defecate, and copulate, treated as herded animals for whom, of course, private facilities are hardly provided – Schindler’s List as Nazi satire.

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