Paul Scarron

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Scarron, Paul


Born July 4, 1610, in Paris; died there Oct. 7, 1660. French writer. Opponent of classicism and literary preciosity.

Scarron’s first published work was A Collection of Burlesque Verse (1643), which was followed by the epic travesties Typhoon, or Gigantomachia (1644) and Vergil Travestied (1648–52). In the new genre that he originated, the burlesque epic travesty, he depicted the gods and heroes of antiquity endowed with human vices. His epics inspired numerous imitations. The Comic Novel (1651–57), which brought Scarron fame, depicted the life and mores of provincial society. Scarron preferred the Spanish theater to the French and borrowed heavily from the former for his comedies Jodelet, or the Valet as Master (staged 1645, published 1646) and Don Japhet From Armenia (staged 1646). Scarron’s comedies occupy an important place in the history of French dramaturgy. His last work was the series Tragicomic Stories (published 1661).


Oeuvres, vols. 1–7. Paris, 1786.
Théâtre complet. Paris, 1879.
Poésies diverses, vols. 1–2, 1947–[1961].
In Russian translation:
Komicheskii roman. Foreword by N. Kravtsov. Moscow-Leningrad, 1934.
Tragikomicheskie novelly. Foreword by V. Bliumenfel’d. Leningrad, 1938.
Komedii. Foreword by V. Lozovetskii. Moscow, 1964.


Istoriia frantsuzskoi literatury, vol. 1. Moscow-Leningrad, 1946. Pages 396–99.
De Armas, F. Paul Scarron. New York [1972],
Cioranescu, A. Bibliographie de la littérature française du XVII siècle, vol. 3. Paris, 1966.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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En 1652, a la edad de 17 anos, se caso con el poeta Paul Scarron, enfermo y de 42 anos de edad, que murio en 1660.
The Dialogues were a series of conversations modeled on the dialogues of Lucian, between such figures as Socrates and Michel de Montaigne or Lucius Seneca and Paul Scarron.
Butler derived his outline from Miguel de Cervantes, and his burlesque method from Paul Scarron. However, his brilliant handling of the octosyllabic meter, his witty, clattering rhymes, his delight in strange words and esoteric learning, and his enormous zest and vigor create effects that are entirely original.
De Lenclos's lovers were many and influential; her intellectual admirers included the playwright Moliere, the poet Paul Scarron, and the skeptic Saint-Evremond.
Mandeville's first works in English were burlesque paraphrases from the 17th-century French writers Jean de La Fontaine and Paul Scarron. The 1714 edition of Mandeville's most important work, The Fable of the Bees, was subtitled Private Vices, Publick Benefits.
His Rome ridicule (1649) started the fashion for burlesque poems that was to be developed later by Paul Scarron. His biblical epic, Moise sauve (1653; "Moses Rescued"), though uneven, contains passages of great force and vividness.
After 1660, travesty became a popular literary device in England as seen in John Phillips' Don Quixote, a vulgar mockery of the original work, and Charles Cotton's travesty of Virgil, Scarronides: or, Virgile Travestie, an imitation of the French Virgile travesty by Paul Scarron. (The use of the word travesti--literally, "dressed in disguise"--in the title of Scarron's work gave rise to the English word, first as an adjective.) Later the French developed the feeries folies, a musical burlesque that travestied fairy tales.