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'Die Wahrheit mit lachendem Munde'

Comedy and Humour in the Novels of Christian Weise


Gordon J. A. Burgess

This study sheds fresh light on Christian Weise as a moral satirist, as he appears in his four novels. These novels are among the last products of a moral-satirical literary tradition stretching back to the Middle Ages. Whilst borrowing on this tradition for the sources for his work, Weise recasts traditional models and situations to suit his own didactic aim, which is to teach his reader how to adapt his behaviour to the demands of a changing society. At the same time, Weise's consciousness of the discrepancies between the world of reality and that of literary creation leads to the author's disassociation from the figures and events he is manipulating: an awareness of the irony of authorship permeates the four novels and widens their narrative perspective.
Contents: Weise's novels and the literary Baroque - The reshaping of satirical tradition (Brant, Murner, Wickram, Agrippa, Moscherosch, Grimmelshausen, Beer) - Satire in the four novels.