Anatomy of Satire
by Gilbert Highet
An information-packed study by a well-known classicist and literary critic analyzes by definitions, descriptions, and examples the tree main forms of satire: monolog, parody, and narrative. The author takes as the scope of hiswork the entire range of satirical literature from ancient Greece to contemporary America, from Aristophanes to Henry Miller.
Louise E. (Review)
Recommends it for: researchers, literature undergraduates and graduates
Shelves: literary-criticism, dissertation-bibliography
A well-built book if you’re interested in or studying the history of satire and satirical pieces from the romans to the second world war. Some remarks from the author on contemporary events are a tad dated and even surprising for a 2013 reader, but the analysis and interpretation of texts remains clear and I found a good third of the book to be quote material.
The range of texts under study is wide enough to cover most of western satirical writing, with some chapters containing clear definitions and differenciation of concepts, giving the opportunity to follow or challenge them in further work. Also, useful shelling out of the mechanisms of satire, not too complicated or too theoretical.
A good way to start on the subject before delving deeper into the intricacies of satire and irony.
Highet graduated from Glasgow University and then from Oxford University, where he taught classics until 1938. In 1950 he was appointed Anthon Professor of the Latin Language and Literature at Columbia University, a post which he held until his retirement.