The Satirist: His Temperament, Motivation, and Influence

The Satirist: His Temperament, Motivation, and Influence

The Satirist: His Temperament, Motivation, and Influence

The Satirist: His Temperament, Motivation, and Influence

Excerpt

For more than two thousand years men have written about the satirist. Satirists themselves, scholars, critics, and psychologists have speculated about the satirist's reasons for writing, his temperament, his place in society. The conclusions they reached are sometimes contradictory, sometimes complementary, sometimes outlandish. I have tried to bring together the significant theories that have been expressed about the satirist, to provide in one book a summary of the problems which specialists have examined intensively in numerous books and articles.

In Part One, I list the major theories about the motivation of the satirist, and then express my own belief that "adjustment" comes most closely to answering that question. The personality of the satirist -- the apparently paradoxical elements of his nature, the problem of why so many great humorists are sad men, the contributions of psychoanalysts -- all this is discussed in Part Two, where I imply that the satirist is not as abnormal as he has sometimes been made to seem, and that if he is a neurotic he has a good deal of company. In Part Three, I examine the beliefs of satirists and their relation to the environment within . . .

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