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Satire

  • By: Conal Condren
  • In: Encyclopedia of Humor Studies
  • Edited by: Salvatore Attardo
  • Subject:General Media, Communication & Cultural Studies, Sociology of Culture

Satire is now popularly regarded as a mode of mass media entertainment: humor or comedy with social content. The established academic view is that satire is a literary genre. As such, satire is largely a creation of modern university disciplinary demarcation dating from the 19th century; the notion of literature as a distinct type of canonical imaginative writing has been expanded from the more venerable field of poetics. The best historical evidence for satire being a genre comes from the Juvenalian tradition of critical poetry—but this is largely innocent of humorous intent. Conversely, the wit and humor typical of Menippean satire persistently upsets the expectations of coherence on which conceptions of genre rely. A corrective to modern expectations is found in N. Bailey’s Etymological Dictionary ...

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