Menippean Satire

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Menippean Satire


a genre of classical literature. Classical tradition associates the origins of Menippean satire with the work of the cynic philosopher Menippus of Gadara (third century B.C.). Only the titles of his works have been preserved. However, the evidence of his influence in Lucian’s and Varro’s works, about 600 fragments of which have been preserved, has enabled scholars to describe Menippean satire as a combination of verse and prose, philosophy and satire. Motifs of Menippean satire are also found in the works of Seneca the Younger and Petronius.

In Europe, Menippean satire gave rise to a genre characterized by satirical self-expose and self-mockery and exemplified by La Satire Menippee, which was written during the religious wars in 16th-century France. A number of F. M. Dostoevsky’s works, including Bobok, are also representative of this genre.


Pomialovskii, I.Mark Terentsii Varron ReatinskiiiMenippovasatura. St Petersburg, 1869. [Texts, translations, research.]
Istoriia grecheskoi literatury, vol. 3. Moscow, 1960.
Bakhtin, M. Problemy poetiki Dostoevskogo, 3rd ed. Moscow, 1972.
Helm, R. Lucian und Menipp. Leipzig, 1967.


References in periodicals archive ?
At a minimum, "Last Night" resonates with both edenic and apocalyptic biblical motifs, contains obvious elements of science fiction, employs satire, some of which has affinities with Menippean satire, and partakes of the utopian tradition but on the dystopian side of it.
Forms explored include vituperative exchange, "alewife" poems, allegory, Juvenalian and Menippean satire, elegy, epitaph, and household ordinances; the traditions of Chaucerian and post-Chaucerian verse are also usefully mined.
Francisco de Quevedo's Menippean Satire <<Suenos y discursos>> at the Epistemological Crossroads of Seventeenth-Century Spain.
Antonius is a Menippean satire named for the recently deceased Antonio Beccadelli; in it his friends revisit favorite topics that they had enjoyed discussing with him.
Such ambiguities are present in Hoffmann's Menippean satire, and in the title role, Stefano Secco had the acting ability to embody all it's different facets.
Reading The Third Policeman as a text displaying the failure of language and human perception/reason found its expression in the current analyses of the novel within the tradition of Menippean satire.
His study of the prosimetric fiction that Varro Reatinus and Lucian of Samosata nominated as Menippean satire, and which Frye anglicizes as "anatomy" after Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy, changed the discourse permanently, and much for the better.
Boyarin ultimately singles out Menippean satire as the most important genre with which to understand both the Talmud and Plato, pointing out their seriocomic peculiarity.
Petronius, of course, is often said to give a unique combination of Menippean Satire and the novel in his work, which is sexually explicit enough.
Emphasizing its links with Menippean satire, I read the lunar episode as
Satyre Menippee is based upon the literary model of classical Menippean satire, which was reintroduced in the sixteenth century first in Neo-Latin literature--witness the works of Erasmus and of Justus Lipsius--and then in other European literatures, as demonstrated by the satires of Francisco de Quevedo (1580-1645), who kept a copy of this French work in his personal library, and of other seventeenth-century satirists.
Such parody sounds a lot like Menippean satire, and if we want to affix a meaningful generic label to O Brother--one without all the critics' hyphens--we can call it that.