A Companion to Satire: Ancient and Modern

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Tracks satire from its first appearances within the prophetic books of the outdated testomony in the course of the Renaissance and the English culture in satire to Michael Moore's satirical motion picture "Fahrenheit 9/11."
Highlights the $64000 impression of the Bible within the literary and cultural improvement of Western satire.
Focused regularly on significant classical and ecu affects on and works of English satire, but additionally explores the complicated and fertile cultural cross-semination in the culture of literary satire.

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An irony pervades Ecclesiastes as a whole, the irony experienced by a believer in God who nonetheless realizes that his behavior among men is capable of no convincing intellectual explanation. The just suffer, the evil are honored, a situation Ecclesiastes finds senseless (Ecclesiastes 8: 6). The viewpoint, consciously or not, challenges the buoyant optimism of Proverbs (or the optimism of Job’s three friends) that God works in the world according to identifiable norms. Ecclesiastes counters, however, that if we saw God punishing evildoers, we would stop doing evil.

The king might not be right, but he is powerful. Much of Proverbs pursues the same sort of advice, about the supposedly beneficial life that will be enjoyed by the discreet and the sensible. ’’ The frequent emphasis in Ecclesiastes and Proverbs on propriety, on the seasonableness of behavior, implies an awareness of the social context within which an individual arrives at the street savvy for surviving the king’s presence regardless of limitations seen there. Keep your eyes open, analyze the situation discreetly, and know when to make your move and what Ancient Biblical Satire 25 kind of move to make if any.

As Northrop Frye observes in his analysis of satire in the Anatomy of Criticism: ‘‘essential to satire . . ’’ What distinguishes satire from the attack or judgment that might appear in an editorial or the like is a second essential feature: ‘‘wit or humor founded on fantasy or a sense of the grotesque or absurd’’ (1968: 224). Satire seeks to make its criticism funny and does so by employing the empirically impossible or unlikely. The world of satire calls to mind an infinite host of the fantastic: the Lilliputians, Brobdingnagians, and Flying Island of Gulliver’s Travels; the sylphs of The Rape of the Lock; Juvenal’s sexual gymnast, the Empress Messalina; Mr Joyboy in Evelyn Waugh’s The Loved One; the talking animals in Horace and in George Orwell; Philip Roth’s Trick E.

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