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 ?
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.
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.
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.
More specifically, he contends that the Consolation is a Menippean satire, which explains its failure in achieving its surface goals, and that the true intention of the work is to temper the arguments of philosophy with Christian sentiments, expressed in biblical allusions at crucial junctures, with liturgical language, and with an emotional and devotional stance.
The different functions of verse and prose in the Histoire ancienne are very well brought out, but the attempt to link it to Aucassin, Aristote, and the concept of Menippean satire is less successful.
He is completing his doctoral thesis on cognition, genre theory, and Menippean satire, and has essays published or forthcoming on allegory and conceptual blending in Style and genre theory and the prototype theory of categorization in Genre.
Jose Lanters, Unauthorised Versions: Irish Menippean Satire, 1919-1952.
Not to be confused with an attitude of invective or censure, Menippean satire is, as Joel Relihan describes it in Ancient Menippean Satire, "an indecorous mixture of disparate elements, of forms, styles, and themes that exist uneasily side by side, and from which no coherent intellectual, moral, or aesthetic appreciation may be drawn.
Huckleberry Finn is a Menippean satire, a form which, in the words of Northrop Frye," deals less with people as people as such than with mental attitudes," and "presents us with a vision of the world in terms of a single intellectual pattern.