Fools and Jesters in Literature, Art, and History: A Bio-Bibliographical Sourcebook

Synopsis

Jesters and fools have existed as important and consistent figures in nearly all cultures. Sometimes referred to as clowns, they are typological characters who have conventional roles in the arts, often using nonsense to subvert existing order. But fools are also a part of social and religious history, and they frequently play key roles in the rituals that support and shape a society's system of beliefs. This reference book includes alphabetically arranged entries for approximately 60 fools and jesters from a wide range of cultures. Included are entries for performers from American popular culture, such as Woody Allen, Charlie Chaplin, and the Marx Brothers; literary characters, such as Shakespeare's Falstaff, Rabelais' Gargantua and Pantagruel, and Singer's Gimpel; and cultural and mythological figures, such as Birbal, the American circus clown, the Native American Coyote, Taishu Engeki of Japan, Hephaestus, Loki the Norse fool, schlemiels and schlimazels, and the drag queen.

Additional information

Includes content by:
  • Yvonne Leblanc
  • Bruce Henderson
  • Barry Capella John
  • Donald Perret
  • Janice Keller
Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Westport, CT
Publication year:
  • 1998