The New Satiric Tradition
|Publication Date||May 2013|
|Formats||Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF)|
At once praised as brilliant stylists and dismissed as crass opportunists, transgressive authors - such as Kathy Acker, Chuck Palahniuk, Bret Easton Ellis, Martin Amis, Angela Carter, and Irvine Welsh - have routinely baffled critics. Arguing about 'message,' critics failed to identify this school as a continuation of the classic Menippean style, which opposes everything and proposes nothing. Like Ovid, Swift, or Rabelais, these writers present a view of life drawn from the candid and carnal folk sensibility praised by Bakhtin. At the same time, they depict bizarre sex, casual drug use, and methodical violence in language drawn from genres of conventional discourse. This contrived style lacks any explicit moral awareness and mocks the moralities through which bad behavior would ordinarily be seen. Postwar novelists struggled with the absence of a ruling social mythology; the new satirists bemoan this absence, presenting an essentially primitive subject addled by competing postmodern discourses.