Wikipedia isn’t that bad sometimes- look at this list of satirists, how many of the greatest writers of all time wrote in that genre.
It virtually jumps from Apuleius to Boccaccio 1100 years later! I sense we’re living in a similar lull. No laughing allowed for 1100 years. They’d be fine with that too, probably.
A clue as to the nature of this
Satire, of all Roman genres, seems most interested in defining itself openly and in relation to other genres.
This has to do with dialectics. The antithesis is not permitted. Might as well call the antithesis the antichrist. Satirization is a manifestation of self-consciousness. When something is satirized it is shown to be flawed. It’s the correction of the flaw. When you are mocked you are doing something that is mock-worthy. When you do not permit mockery that means something that is mock-worthy continues to exist AS mock-worthy. That’s not something to be too offended about- if you remember Lucian, one of his innovations was the satirical Socratic dialogue. NO ONE is perfect, yet we’re expected to proceed as if the guardians of the present order are impeccably flawless.
I want to go on an adventure, and I want to laugh myself into a neckbrace on that adventure, and continue laughing. They take this away from all of us. People talk about living in a “pod” in the future, you already figuratively do live in a pod.
[The Roman satirists] persistently hold on to a posture of being somehow outside literature.
It’s the shadow that stalks culture. It’s the superego in a sense. It’s watching, and it’s laughing. The ego that doesn’t listen to its superego soon lapses into being pure id. And at that point satire shifts from portraying humor to portraying disgust.
This looks perfect for answering this particular “What is — ?” question
Going back to the beginning. I’m trying to hyperstition a fatal joke into existence. How better to “refute” the cathedral than to make it a laughingstock. How to make it blush…
People see me as Satan when I say these things- that itself is funny to me.
This, to me, is better than any statue they can unearth
When Trebatius warns Horace about how dangerous writing aggressive poetry is, Horace calls up the example of Lucilius as a defence.
The beginning of “acerbic wit”. Something scathing and poisonous, that’s what I want to conjure up from hell.
We have to discover the original essence of humor. What is it truly? Is it possible that none of us have ever really laughed? If modern humor is somehow defective that might be possible. As absurd as that probably sounds I think it’s more likely than you might think. It’s similar to how brilliant academics will never write the most devastating critiques, though they theoretically could. People who are naturally hilarious, I mean the pros, are also subordinate to the political order and thus can’t actualize their funniness fully. Thus we’ll never know the kind of laughter they could provoke. For shame!
Digging around at the beginning of the west, we might “remember” what it’s all about. Anyone they allow on the screens isn’t funny. If that defines funny for you then I’m sorry you live such a deprived life.
This was my favorite genre as a kid, and like I said, it doesn’t meet my expectations these days. I kept growing and it stopped growing. I’m sure many are similar to me actually, they just might not know it. The absence of true humor in your life, how could you be aware of that? I for one can feel it robustly.
A lot of my time is spent yearning. Often for the perfect artwork. The other day I mentioned historical fiction? It would have to be at least partially satirical to be perfect. Merchants with a false victim story make sure you don’t get to experience any art in your life that approaches perfection, how does that make you feel?