A Century of Parody and Imitation

A Century of Parody and Imitation

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A Century of Parody and Imitation

A Century of Parody and Imitation

Read FREE!

Excerpt

The object of this compilation is to provide a corpus of representative parodies and imitations of a century, beginning with Rejected Addresses ( 1812), which practically marked the birth of modern parody, and are here printed in their entirety. Prose parodies, excepting those in Rejected Addresses, have been excluded; the derivation of the word `parody' may be referred to in justification. Emerson wrote in his `Fable'

`----all sorts of things and weather

Must be taken in together

To make up a year

And a sphere;

so in this volume will be found all forms of imitations from, in Mr. Owen Seaman's words, `the lowest, a mere verbal echo, to the highest, where it becomes a department of pure criticism.'

It is quite unnecessary to add to the published mass of writing, wise and foolish, on the art and ethics of parody. Some of the pieces in this book are included chiefly because they have an historical place in the development of parody to its present high standard of execution and good taste.

Isaac D'Israeli asserted that `unless the prototype is familiar to us a parody is nothing.' As a matter of fact some of the best work is that of which the originals have been forgotten long since; although, of course, when the poets and the poems imitated are familiar the art of the imitator can be better appreciated.

The word `century' has been interpreted with some licence. The work of living parodists does not fall . . .

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