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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]

Punch magazine

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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