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- Tracks satire from its first appearances within the prophetic books of the outdated testomony in the course of the Renaissance and the English culture in satire to Michael Moore’s satirical motion picture Fahrenheit September 11 .
- Highlights the real impact of the Bible within the literary and cultural improvement of Western satire.
- Focused quite often on significant classical and eu affects on and works of English satire, but in addition explores the advanced and fertile cultural cross-semination in the culture of literary satire.
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Extra resources for A Companion to Satire: Ancient and Modern
Psalm 2: 4, Authorized Version) Asked to name the world’s funniest book, few would mention the Bible. Yet, somewhat perversely perhaps, I have for many years thought that one of the funniest scenes I have ever read occurs in the Gospel of John when Jesus has a lengthy conversation with the Samaritan woman at a well where she has come to draw water ( John 4: 4 – 42). The woman is amazed that Jesus should ask her for a drink, since, as John notes, ‘‘Jews and Samaritans . . do not use vessels in common’’ (4: 9).
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).
In addition, biblical narrative and those conduct writings known as wisdom literature provide more instances of the keen sense of ridicule felt in Scripture. Sarah, in Genesis (16: 1–6), becomes jealous of the successfully pregnant Hagar and demands that Abraham send her away. The Philistines, ‘‘when they grew merry,’’ call for the blinded and impotent Samson ‘‘to make sport for us’’ ( Judges 16: 25). ) Despite his suicide, Saul is regarded as one of the heroes of Israel. David rejects the advice of Ahitophel, which is a public humiliation, and the counselor returns immediately to his home and hangs himself (2 Samuel 17: 23).