The Difference Satire Makes: Rhetoric and Reading from Jonson to Byron

Overview

Offering both the first major revision of satiric rhetoric in decades and a critical account of the modern history of satire criticism, Fredric V. Bogel maintains that the central structure of the satiric mode has been misunderstood. Devoting attention to Augustan satiric texts and other examples of satire—from writings by Ben Jonson and Lord Byron to recent performance art—Bogel finds a complicated interaction between identification and distance, intimacy and repudiation.Drawing on anthropological insights and ...
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Overview

Offering both the first major revision of satiric rhetoric in decades and a critical account of the modern history of satire criticism, Fredric V. Bogel maintains that the central structure of the satiric mode has been misunderstood. Devoting attention to Augustan satiric texts and other examples of satire—from writings by Ben Jonson and Lord Byron to recent performance art—Bogel finds a complicated interaction between identification and distance, intimacy and repudiation.Drawing on anthropological insights and the writings of Kenneth Burke, Bogel articulates a rigorous, richly developed theory of satire. While accepting the view that the mode is built on the tension between satirist and satiric object, he asserts that an equally crucial relationship between the two is that of intimacy and identification; satire does not merely register a difference and proceed to attack in light of that difference. Rather, it must establish or produce difference.The book provides fresh analyses of eighteenth-century texts by Jonathan Swift, John Gay, Alexander Pope, Henry Fielding, and others. Bogel believes that the obsessive play between identification and distance and the fascination with imitation, parody, and mimicry which mark eighteenth-century satire are part of a larger cultural phenomenon in the Augustan era—a questioning of the very status of the category and of categorical distinctness and opposition.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This study advances the reader's understanding of satire by providing a critical account of its history among modern critics. . . Bogel's book is remarkably inventive and challenging; it raises the bar of understanding of Augustan satire in particular, and more generally of satire as a literary category."—Choice, October 2001,Vol. 39., No. 2

"Some part of Bogel's survey of satire from Jonson to Byron will be of interest to regular BHR readers and the entire book will delight and inform the Renaissance scholars who wish to see their specialty in perspective."—Bibliotheque d'Humanisme et Renaissance, 2001

"Fredric Bogel's The Difference Satire Makes is a powerful, insightful, and genuinely original meditation on Augustan satire that all students of satire will need to read."—John Richetti, University of Pennsylvania

"Fredric Bogel establishes a sophisticated new theory of satire through superb close readings of English Augustan texts. The first thorough reassessment of the satiric mode in almost half a century, The Difference Satire Makes is a major—and should prove an enduring—contribution to the field of literary study."—Adam Potkay, The College of William and Mary, author of The Passion for Happiness: Samuel Johnson and David Hume

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801477850
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press
  • Publication date: 1/31/2012
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Fredric V. Bogel is Professor of English at Cornell University. He is the author of Literature and Insubstantiality in Later Eighteenth-Century England and The Dream of My Brother: An Essay on Johnson's Authority.

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