What is satire? How can we define it? Is it a weapon for radical change or fundamentally conservative? Is satire funny or cruel? Does it always need a target or victim? Combining thematic, theoretical and historical approaches, John T. Gilmore introduces and investigates the tradition of satire from classical models through to the present day. In a lucid and engaging style, Gilmore explores:
- the moral politics of satire
- whether satire is universal, historically or geographically limited
- how satire translates across genres and media
the boundaries of free speech and legitimacy.
Using examples from ancient Egypt to Charlie Hebdo, from European traditions of formal verse satire to imaginary voyages and alternative universes, newspaper cartoons and YouTube clips, from the Caribbean to China, this comprehensive volume should be of interest to students and scholars of literature, media and cultural studies as well as politics and philosophy.