Parody (The New Critical Idiom) by Professor Simon Dentith

By Professor Simon Dentith

Parody is far and wide in modern pop culture. It runs via literature, theatre and tv, structure and flicks or even daily speech. Dentith, via drawing on examples from Aristophanes to The Simpsons, screens the various roles that parody performs, from its position within the historical past of literature to its pivotal half in postmodernist debates. Parody, as a subversive or conservative mode of writing, has been within the tradition wars from precedent days to the current, and is a vital point of either literary and cultural discourse. Dentith either defines and explores parody with an ease that's not often accomplished in different places, making this ebook obtainable to readers of all degrees.

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Extra info for Parody (The New Critical Idiom)

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The point of this definition was to situate parody in the to-and-fro of language, and to suggest a similarity between the everyday rejoinders of speech and the competitive relations between texts. This is a definition based upon the function of parody in the continuance of human discourse, not upon the formal means by which parody is achieved. Tight definitions of a formal kind can be attempted, but they have the disadvantage of having to deal with large numbers of incompatible definitions and differing national usages.

The point of this definition was to situate parody in the to-and-fro of language, and to suggest a similarity between the everyday rejoinders of speech and the competitive relations between texts. This is a definition based upon the function of parody in the continuance of human discourse, not upon the formal means by which parody is achieved. Tight definitions of a formal kind can be attempted, but they have the disadvantage of having to deal with large numbers of incompatible definitions and differing national usages.

This characteristic can be seen most clearly in The Symposium, an account of a drinking party in which the various guests compete to give the best speech about the nature of love. Several of those present speak before Socrates’s turn; in the words of a modern translator, most of these ‘are probably parodies of their supposed speakers’ (Hamilton, 1951:12). Thus Agathon (a playwright, all of whose plays have been lost) is given a speech in the best rhetorical manner of the sophists, a persistent target of Plato’s; it concludes with the following splendid peroration or climax: It is Love who empties us of the spirit of estrangement and fills us with the spirit of kinship; who makes possible such mutual intercourse as this; who presides over festivals, dances, sacrifices; who bestows good-humour and banishes surliness; whose gift is the gift of good-will and never of ill-will.

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