Contemporary Satire; Tastes Great - Less Filling.


Contemporary Satire

Vonnegut did it!  Committed satire. Over and over in fact. Although some critics didn’t think he wrote satire at all; apparently, even though his work was intended to make fun of modern life and capitalist values, it doesn’t do so with the intent of inspiring action that would reform the system. "Not satire." say those critics.                 

"Hahaha," say I. Any lack of intention to inspire change is merely a technicality –  simply a consequence of the times we live in – where the power structures, corruption, self-delusion and  sheer vastness of our modern world is too embedded, complex and amoral to be changed by a guy with a writing pad or keyboard firing shots at the establishment. It’s about as effective as dropping a bomb in a video game. It may affect the outcome of that particular game, but is otherwise of no consequence at all to life, the universe and everything. 

If you do an internet search for Modern Satirists, you will likely find lists including people like Jonathan Swift and Mark Twain - which plays fast and loose with the definition of the word "modern," IMO. To find anyone who was born after 1900, you generally have to search for 'contemporary' satirists. Most of the names that come up will be cartoonists and late night talk show hosts, but a few modern...er, contemporary writers may appear on the list, like Douglas Coupland and Chuck Palahniuk, even Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett make some of the lists. But literary satire just doesn't have the same clout these days as it did with the ancient Greeks. 

In the pitch for my novel, The Human Template, I describe the book as a satirical, science fiction epic. If this seems to contradict my earlier post about not allowing yourself to be put in a box or be defined by a genre label, consider that I'm not calling myself a science fiction writer. I'm just a plain ol' writer who happens to have written a science fiction book.

Traditional Satire

And as for satire, I need to define it before I can judge whether I have actually written it!

The best definition I've found is at https://englishsummary.com/6-types-satire-english-literature/

The Human Template has plenty of Horatian silliness, a bit of Juvenalian bite and even some Menippean big picture criticism. I even threw in a few generous tablespoons of parody, sarcasm and irony. So now when someone calls me a science fiction writer, I can say, "Well actually, I'm a satirist."

(Reaching the end of this post is a major triumph, because trying to write a coherent blog entry on this computer is like murdering someone with little, teeny, squeezy nailclippers. It may be possible, but it could take a very long time. Five crashes later - victory is finally achieved!)

Get the scoop on my new novel, The Human Template at https://dalelsproule.com.




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