Comparative Literature | Introduction to Satire
C318 | 1221 | Oscar Kenshur


TR   11:15-12:30   BH 016
Satisfies COAS Cultural Studies and A & H requirements.

We will examine several satiric works from throughout the Western
tradition.  Our primary aim will be to get a sense of the scope of
satire, the forms that it takes, the techniques that it employs, the
ideals that it proposes, and the victims that it ridicules.  Among the
questions that we will be asking along the way are the following:
Does satire's use of distortion and exaggeration make it essentially
unfair?  Is satire particularly suited to defending traditional
beliefs and values, or is it equally suited to attacking conservative
attitudes. Is satire used only where rational arguments could not
succeed, or can satire itself be rational? What does one need to know
in order to understand satire, and what does one need to feel in order
to derive pleasure from satiric works? The tentative list of texts
includes the following:

Aristophanes, The Clouds
Selected Satires of Horace and Juvenal
Thomas More, Utopia
Molière, Tartuffe
Swift, Gulliver's Travels, A Modest Proposal, and the Bickerstaff
Papers
Voltaire, Candide
Mark Twain, Letters from the Earth
Terry Jones (dir.) Monty Python's Life of Brian
Pope, Rape of the Lock
Visual satires and caricatures by Hogarth, Daumier, and others

There will be a midterm and a final. Students will also be required to
monitor and write analyses of contemporary  satirical works in various
media.