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Related: caricature - humor - literary technique - fiction - ridicule - satyr
Authors: Ambrose Bierce - François Rabelais - Jonathan Swift - John Wilmot
Titles: Satyricon - Flatland (1880 novel) - Candide (1759 novel)
Satiric periodicals: Le Charivari (1832 - 1937) - Hara Kiri (1960 - 1969)
Simplicissimus magazine cover ridiculing Hitler (date unknown)
Simplicissimus magazine cover (1910)
In satire laughter is used as a weapon, a mocking attack on evil and stupidity.
Satire is a literary technique of writing or art which exposes the follies of its subject (for example, individuals, organizations, or states) to ridicule, often as an intended means of provoking or preventing change. In Celtic societies, it was thought a bard's satire could have physical effects, similar to a curse. The humor of such a satire tends to be subtle, using irony and deadpan humor liberally. Most satire has specific, readily identifiable targets; however there is also a less focused, formless genre known as Menippean satire. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satire [Apr 2006]
Tracing European satirical developments
My first introduction to satire was by way of my father by way of French magazine Hara Kiri. Since then I've had a particular interest in satire and all sorts of subversion. Satire can be placed at the origins of counterculture. In fact, one of the first uses of pornography was political subversion. In 19th century Europe, the best known satirical magazines were Le Charivari (1832 - 1937) in France, Punch (1841 to 2002) in the U. K. and Simplicissimus (1896 - 1944) in Germany. BTW, the above image of Hitler reminds me of Maurizio Cattelan's Him image (2001), a photorealist sculpture of a miniature Hitler in prayer.
Notable examples of satire
--http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satire [Apr 2005]
- Ovid The Art of Love
- Juvenal (c. A.D. 55-140) 16 Satires
- the Satirae (c. A.D. 50) by Petronius
- Speculum Stultorum (Mirror for Fools) by Nigel of Canterbury, 12th c. satire of monks and universities
- De Nugis Curialibus (The Courtiers' Jests), 12th c. satire of life at court in England
- A Tale of a Tub, Gulliver's Travels and A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift, exposing the coarse, harsh world for what it really is. Some mistake this for misanthropy, but Swift clearly wrote what he wrote to better mankind; by showing it's flaws unabashedly in hopes that people would recognize the folly or even evil in their own life and then actually improve. Swift is considered by many to be the greatest satirist, of the English language, and possibly of the world.
- Candide by Voltaire, satirizing optimism
- Erewhon by Samuel Butler II, a utopia, a form that is common in satire.
- Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell, a dystopia, also common in satire.
- Ubu Roi (or King Turd), by Alfred Jarry, cacotopia
- Penguin Island by Anatole France, utopia
- Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, dystopia
- Mark Twain's later works, notably The Man Who Corrupted Hadleyburg
- Wise Blood by Flannery O'Connor, satirizing contemporary religious attitudes
- C. Northcote Parkinson's satires on bureaucracy.
- Thomas Nast's political cartoons against Boss Tweed
- The Landover Baptist Church, an internet parody of Christian fundamentalism
- Skits and "updates" that air on the Rush Limbaugh radio program.
- Al Franken is a political satirist.
- Stanley Kubrick's movies Doctor Strangelove and A Clockwork Orange.
- Robert Clark Young's controversial novel One of the Guys
- Dario Fo's Accidental Death of an Anarchist
- le Canard Enchaîné publishes satiric cartoons and columns along with well-researched information on French political or economic life.
- Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut Jr. is a political satire, adopting a sci-fi motif.
- Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk is a satire of masculinity, consumerism, and nihilism.
- Chris Morris's Brass Eye, a satire of Britsh news programmes
- The Onion and The Daily Show, satires of the American news media
- Stupid White Men, written by Michael Moore, thick to the brim with satire.
Punch magazine cover, 1867
Punch, or The London Charivari was a British weekly magazine founded in July 17, 1841 by Henry Mayhew, Mark Lemon, and a wood engraver named Ebenezer Landells. At the time, there was a satirical humour magazine published in France under the title Le Charivari, and the creators felt that there could be a market for a similar magazine in Britain. Reflecting their satiric and humorous intent, they took for their name and masthead the anarchic glove puppet Mr. Punch, with the subtitle "The London Charivari" as a reference to the French magazine. Punch was responsible for the modern use of the word 'cartoon' to refer to a comic drawing. The illustrator Archibald Henning designed the cover of the magazine's first issues. It varied several times, Richard Doyle designed a decisive one in 1849. And, he was a regular contributor. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Punch_magazine [Jun 2005]
see also: satire - 1800s - magazine
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