Accès direct au contenu

 

logo du site ENS

Logo du site Ens Lyon

IDEX LYON 2016

Membre de
Recherche
30 ans de l'ENS de Lyon
In the wake of the January killings of French cartoonists in Paris, author and essayist Will Self - often labelled a satirist himself by academic or literary criticism – was compelled to reconsider the nature and purpose of satire. In an opinion piece tellingly entitled “What’s the Point of Satire?” , he explains: “We may like to think of our satirists as still speaking truth fearlessly unto power within a social realm bounded by commonly understood norms […] but such a view is largely delusory. In fact, it’s the managed anomie of our society today […] that allows for a satire at once savage and toothless.” Whereas most definitions of satire underline the indebtedness of the genre to a doxa or to an established social norm that it must expose and deride so that the opposite virtues can be implicitly extolled and ultimately reinforced, Will Self’s postulate prompts a revaluation of the very frame within which we understand satire. In this paper, based on selected fictions by Self - such as Cock and Bull, Great Apes or The Book of Dave - I propose to study the narrative and discursive strategies producing a satirical form able to accommodate a perceived current lack of common moral ground. My purpose will be threefold: I shall first look at various satirical tropes, such as the use of a grotesque aesthetics, the topos of mundus inversus and a telescopic or microscopic vision of the social body, in order to show aspects of the “savage” dimension of Self’s satirical prose. Secondly, working under the assumption that these topoi constitute a coping strategy to “manage the anomie of our society”, I would like to demonstrate that the inherent ambivalence of a hence “toothless” satire allows for an exploration of a deregulated social body rather than for the teleologic reconstruction of an implied moral norm. Finally, in keeping with Griffin’s notion of satire as an exploratory rather than a cautionary tale, I shall assess to what extent the rhetorics of provocation and display underlying Will Self’s bitter sense of humour may (or may not) sting and ultimately spring the reader into action.

Retour au haut de la page

Publier un événement
Si vous avez un login et un mot de passe ENS de Lyon vous pouvez publier vos annonces dans l'agenda du site.
Cliquez-ici pour accéder à l'interface de saisie en intranet
Appels à projets et candidatures
Retrouvez tous les appels à projets et appels à candidatures sur cette page.
Contact
Vanessa Guignery
Professor of English and Postcolonial Literature at the ENS de Lyon and member of the Institut Universitaire de France in Paris.
Practical informations
 
 
Mise à jour le 2 juillet 2015
Ens de Lyon
15 parvis René Descartes - BP 7000 69342 Lyon Cedex 07 - FRANCE
Tél. : Site René Descartes (siège) : +33 (0) 4 37 37 60 00 / Site Jacques Monod : +33 (0) 4 72 72 80 00