GEN-MEDIEVAL-L ArchivesArchiver > GEN-MEDIEVAL > 1999-10 > 0939415226
From: "D. Spencer Hines" <>
Subject: Satire and Vituperation
Date: Fri, 8 Oct 1999 10:40:26 -1000
There are a number of gentle readers on these newsgroups who appear to
be confused, confounded, conflated, folded, spindled and mutilated by
the stark differences between satire and vituperation.
They confound and confuse the two, thereby thoroughly bollixing
themselves. Having done that, they then spread their confusion to
Literary conceits and irony also confuse them.
Our notable American writer, Ambrose Gwinett Bierce [1842-1913?]
delineated the differences between satire and vituperation with sagacity
and savoir-faire in his_The Devil's Dictionary_ as follows:
"Satire, n. an obsolete kind of literary composition in which the vices
and follies of the author's enemies were expounded with imperfect
tenderness. In this country [N.B. The United States] satire never had
more than a sickly and uncertain existence, for the soul of it is wit,
wherein we are dolefully deficient, the humor that we mistake for it,
like all humor, being tolerant and sympathetic."
"Moreover, although Americans are "endowed by their Creator" with
abundant vice and folly, it is not generally known that these are
reprehensible qualities, wherefore the satirist is popularly regarded as
a sour-spirited knave, and his every victim's outcry for co-defendants
evokes a national assent."
"Vituperation, n. Satire, as understood by dunces and all such as suffer
from an impediment in their wit."
Food For Thought.
Lux et Veritas et Libertas
Illegitimis Non Carborundum
Fortem Posce Animum
D. Spencer Hines --- "The final happiness of man consists in the
contemplation of truth....This is sought for its own sake, and is
directed to no other end beyond itself." Saint Thomas Aquinas,
[1224/5-1274] "Summa Contra Gentiles" [c.1258-1264].