Claude Rawson

Yale University

Articles de l'auteur

Cycnos | Volume 6

Final Solutions, Modest Proposals and Shortest Ways

“One thing which we often leave out of account, as we discuss all the customary features of satire, its rhetoric, its morality, the various forms of irony, is the fact that satire is aggressive and hurtful. At one time, it aimed to kill or to maim. It was believed to have the power, and therefore sometimes had it. The Greek poet Archilochus, the warriors of pre-Islamic Arabia, the old Irish bards, used their poems as lethal weapons, or sometimes less than lethal: the Irish bards caused blisters, from which we derive the notion of "blistering" attacks. The death curse was the most common form. It survives, we are told, in a variety of tribal cultures, and we wi...”

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