Largely ignored by theorists of satire, anachronism as a narrative and thematic device becomes particularly relevant to understand English satire produced during the 1590s and early 1600s. While generally building on principles of Verfremdung, satire would develop in the Elizabethan period to embrace anachronism as a way of delimiting its own contemporary world. In the writings of John Marston, Joseph Hall, Donne and others, the obscurity of allusions is highlighted by the insistent use of Latinate names as well as Roman terms, practices and objects. From a reader’s point of view such anachronisms of satirical writing become a means of signalling both inclusion (in the select group who might understand the references) and exclusion (since anyone claiming to understand the references would also be implied to be, in Marston’s words, a ”lewd Censurer”). Thus, rather than mere ’imitation’ or a straightforward means to the end of displaying classical learning, anachronism is a crucial modus operandi of Elizabethan satire, one that simultaneously transcended and perpetuated the distance from the literary past.
HUMANIORA -- Språk och litteratur -- Litteraturvetenskap (hsv//swe)
HUMANITIES -- Languages and Literature -- General Literature Studies (hsv//eng)