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Parody, Scriblerian Wit and the Rise of the Novel

Parodic Textuality from Pope to Sterne


Przemysław Uściński

Parody was a crucial technique for the satirists and novelists associated with the Scriblerus Club. The great eighteenth-century wits (Alexander Pope, John Gay, Henry Fielding, Laurence Sterne) often explored the limits of the ugly, the droll, the grotesque and the insane by mocking, distorting and deconstructing multiple discourses, genres, modes and methods of representation. This book traces the continuity and difference in parodic textuality from Pope to Sterne. It focuses on polyphony, intertextuality and deconstruction in parodic genres and examines the uses of parody in such texts as «The Beggar’s Opera», «The Dunciad», «Joseph Andrews» and «Tristram Shandy». The book demonstrates how parody helped the modern novel to emerge as a critical and artistically self-conscious form.

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Chapter OneTheoretical Approaches to Parody: Bakhtin and Beyond

Chapter TwoNeoclassicism, Burlesque and the Genealogy of Scriblerian Textuality

Chapter ThreePlaying with Literary Conventions: Parodic Ambiguity in John Gay’s The Fan, The Shepherd’s Week and The Beggar’s Opera

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