Pasquinade

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Pasquinade

 

a work with satirical distortions and malicious attacks intended to insult and compromise an individual, group, party, or social movement. The term is derived from the name of the Roman shoemaker Pasquino (15th century), an author of biting epigrams directed against people in high positions.

The pasquinade is most often used to discredit political opponents. For example, W. Menzel’s German Literature contained attacks on Schiller, Goethe, and modern French literature. M. A. Korf’s The Accession of Nicholas I to the Throne (1848), which blackened the reputation of the Decembrists, was compiled on the direct orders of Nicholas I. To repudiate Korf’s book, A. I. Herzen and N. P. Ogarev published a collection based on documentary evidence, December 14, 1825, and Emperor Nicholas. N. M. Iazykov and D. V. Davydov wrote pasquinades in verse to ridicule P. Ia. Chaadaev for his Philosophical Letter. Many writers, especially those connected with the liberation movement, were obliged to defend themselves from pasquinades. In Russian literature, the “antinihilist novel” acquired certain features of the pasquinade (for example, V. P. Kliushnikov’s The Mirage and A. F. Pisemskii’s Troubled Seas). Unlike the pamphlet, which it resembles in its denunciatory style, the pasquinade is not an officially recognized literary genre.

A. L. GRISHUNIN