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By R. Mookerjee

Usually pushed aside as sensationalist, transgressive fiction is a worldly move with roots in Menippean satire and the Rabelaisian carnal people sensibility praised by way of Bakhtin. This learn, the 1st of its type, presents an intensive literary historical past and research of key transgressive authors similar to Acker, Amis, Carter, Ellis, and Palahniuk.

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Extra info for Transgressive Fiction: The New Satiric Tradition

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These stories are classical in origin: mentioned in Herodotus; suggested by the Lycaon episode in Ovid (in which a cannibalistic king of Arcadia is turned into a wolf by Zeus); told by Agrippus via Pliny concerning a man turned into a wolf as punishment for cannibalism; and told by a guest at Petronius’ famous dinner in Satyricon. Encouraged to speak up, Niceros tells of his misadventure with a friend whose help he solicits in the pursuit of a maiden: “The moon was shining so brightly it was light as midday.

Only the Houyhnhnms, after considering Gulliver’s claims, associate him with a roughly similar animal, the Yahoo. The Houyhnhnms may be a mirror in which Gulliver can see his animal nature – since they are animals. Again, the broad equivalency they draw between humans and Yahoos shows the inexactness of categories: The master horse ordered a sorrel nag, one of his servants, to untie the largest of these animals, and take him into the yard. The beast and I were brought close together, and by our countenances diligently compared both by master and servant, who thereupon repeated several times the word YAHOO.

By devaluing speech as a poor substitute for action in a passage that retells The Aeneid, Ovid mocks not only his fellow Augustan but himself and poetry in general, which was sometimes seen just as Ajax describes eloquence – effeminate. We must reiterate that there is truth to Ajax’s claim that no one has seen Ulysses’ acts of heroism – unlike his own deeds. Ulysses’ acts have not been experienced directly in the komos-derived – that is, playful and uninhibited – context of a public performance.

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