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Satirical boomerangs and author personae: Jonathan Swift and Charlotte Lennox
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences. (Berättande Liv Mening)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7232-2832
2017 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In this paper I will investigate the function of personae in satirical texts, with particular attention to texts where this persona bears a relation to the historical author. Jonathan Swift’s “Verses on the Death of Dr. Swift,” for instance, reads like a dramatic monologue, but considering the ironic reference to the author, the effect is that of self-irony – most often called self-parody. This effect is made possible, as I argue here, precisely by a mixture of parody and satire. This kind of evasive irony, in Swift’s case termed “the art of disbelief” (Suarez), has sometimes been harnessed by critics with reference to the author’s life. The same is true about a very different author (in terms of canonicity), writing in a different genre: in Charlotte Lennox’ Cervantine novel, The Female Quixote, a Fieldingesque authorial persona parades her skills in chapter headings. Given the range of possibilities for female authorial personae in the mid eighteenth-century, this is taking on airs. In the critical history of this novel, scant historical records of the author’s life can be seen to limit the novel’s satirical potential. I use these two cases to discuss the use of biographical evidence as an interpretive key, and suggest a different persona concept, contextualized through the texts’ own boomerang effects, in an attempt to give full scope to their satirical intent. This paper is part of a larger project that traces changing views of authorships through the eighteenth century, by a hypothetical author concept (Nelles). 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017.
Keywords [en]
Eighteenth-century satire, parody, satiric intent, career author, implied author
National Category
General Literature Studies
Research subject
Literature
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-64116OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-64116DiVA, id: diva2:1173702
Conference
Early Modern Satire: Themes, Re-Evaluations and Practices, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden, November 2-4, 2017
Available from: 2018-01-13 Created: 2018-01-13 Last updated: 2018-01-15Bibliographically approved

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Uddén, Anna

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf