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A War of Fools

The Letters of Obscure Men- A Study of the Satire and the Satirized

Series:

Volkmar Sander

The main part of this study is a detailed analysis of the content of the Epistolae Obscurorum Virorum (EOV). It will identify the satirical devices which Crotus and Ulrich apply in their work. Furthermore, the structure of the work will be analyzed and it will be shown to what extent the epistolary tradition of antiquity and of the Middle Ages has influenced the form of these letters. Next, the treatment of the traditional medieval Seven Deadly Sins will be carefully examined in the text of the EOV. However, the study will focus its attention on the various methods with which Crotus and Ulrich satirize ignorance and literary barbarism. In doing so it will trace the humanist concept of ideal learning and it will show how the authors devised their caricature of ignorance in contrast with this high standard.