Read e-book online Parody (The New Critical Idiom) PDF


By Simon Dentith

ISBN-10: 0415182204

ISBN-13: 9780415182201

Parody is a part of all our lives. It happens not just in literature, but additionally in daily speech, in theatre and tv, structure and movies. Drawing on examples from Aristophanes to The Simpsons, Simon Dentith explores:
* where of parody within the historical past of literature
* parody as a subversive or conservative mode of writing
* parody's pivotal function in debates approximately postmodernism
* parody within the tradition wars from precedent days to the present
This vigorous creation situates parody on the center of literary and cultural reviews and gives a remarkably transparent consultant to this occasionally complicated subject. Parody will function a vital source, to be learn and re-read via scholars of all degrees.

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Seneca, 1977:221) In a manner typical of the reductiveness of the genre, this piece of sounding nonsense is immediately followed by this comment in prose: ‘I think it’ll be better understood if I put it this way: it was the month of October, the thirteenth day of October’. The genre provides many opportunities for this kind of demystifying parody; in the case of the Apocolocyntosis, a more general assault upon the recently deceased Claudius is conducted by means of a parody of the council of the Gods, and another of the judgement in Hell.

One of the typical ways in which parody works is to seize on particular aspects of a manner or a style and exaggerate it to ludicrous effect. There is an evident critical function in this, as the act of parody must first involve identifying a characteristic stylistic habit or mannerism and then making it comically visible. Take the following example from a 1912 parody by the supreme English literary parodist, Max Beerbohm, called ‘The Mote in the Middle Distance’: It was with the sense of a, for him, very memorable something that he peered now into the immediate future, and tried, not without compunction, to take that period up where he had, prospectively, left it.

Parody here becomes almost a manner of learning; certainly this was a period which was very conscious of its belatedness in relation to a past golden age. Parody plays a central role in Lucian’s writing; The Judging of the Goddesses, for example, is a comic prose version of the story of the judgement of Paris, while The Assembly of the Gods gives the same treatment to a council of the Gods, much as Seneca had done, where the topic is the willingness to admit into Olympus too many human aliens—perhaps alluding to current Roman citizenship laws.

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Parody (The New Critical Idiom) by Simon Dentith

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