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Introduction to the Special Issue

Introduction to the Special Issue The protean nature of English satire at the turn of the seventeenth century has notoriously challenged critics seeking to generically align it with classical antecedents. Fluid orthographies and the nominal “confusion” between the homonyms “satyre” and “satire” have long exercised scholars, especially those following Isaac Casaubon’s 1605 argument etymologically excising the Greek satyr figure’s influence from Latin satura.1 Casaubon’s followers have tended to retro-project orderly generic expectations on a period of vernacular invention that targets socio-political dis-order. The essays gathered here examine how early modern writers recombine and reinvent classical satirical postures, and together suggest that so-called breaches of classical decorum formally augment their delivery.Broadly speaking, literary critics have inherited a generic binary that tends to sort early modern satire into two categories: ameliorative Horatian verse, or Juvenalian invective. Although Menippus is brought forth occasionally to explain mixtures of verse and prose, and Lucilius earns a nod for his influence on Desiderius Erasmus’ The Praise of Folly, only recently have readers begun to realize that what Bernd Renner calls the “essentially intermixed” nature of vernacular satire troubles fixed models. In a discussion recognizing how early modern satirists welcomed the combination of satura with the satyr figure, Renner points out, http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Explorations in Renaissance Culture Brill

Introduction to the Special Issue

Explorations in Renaissance Culture , Volume 48 (1): 5 – Apr 11, 2022

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
Copyright © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
0098-2474
eISSN
2352-6963
DOI
10.1163/23526963-04801004
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The protean nature of English satire at the turn of the seventeenth century has notoriously challenged critics seeking to generically align it with classical antecedents. Fluid orthographies and the nominal “confusion” between the homonyms “satyre” and “satire” have long exercised scholars, especially those following Isaac Casaubon’s 1605 argument etymologically excising the Greek satyr figure’s influence from Latin satura.1 Casaubon’s followers have tended to retro-project orderly generic expectations on a period of vernacular invention that targets socio-political dis-order. The essays gathered here examine how early modern writers recombine and reinvent classical satirical postures, and together suggest that so-called breaches of classical decorum formally augment their delivery.Broadly speaking, literary critics have inherited a generic binary that tends to sort early modern satire into two categories: ameliorative Horatian verse, or Juvenalian invective. Although Menippus is brought forth occasionally to explain mixtures of verse and prose, and Lucilius earns a nod for his influence on Desiderius Erasmus’ The Praise of Folly, only recently have readers begun to realize that what Bernd Renner calls the “essentially intermixed” nature of vernacular satire troubles fixed models. In a discussion recognizing how early modern satirists welcomed the combination of satura with the satyr figure, Renner points out,

Journal

Explorations in Renaissance CultureBrill

Published: Apr 11, 2022

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