Too Absurd for Satire: When Evelyn Waugh and Christopher Buckley Stopped Skewering Their Own Societies
Warford, William P.
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CitationWarford, William P. 2020. Too Absurd for Satire: When Evelyn Waugh and Christopher Buckley Stopped Skewering Their Own Societies. Master's thesis, Harvard Extension School.
AbstractWhen do satirists need to look elsewhere for creative fulfillment? Is there ever a time when they need to turn away, at least temporarily, from ridiculing the societies in which they live? For two highly regarded satirists from two different eras, the answer is yes. Both British satirist Evelyn Waugh (1903-1966), and American satirist Christopher Buckley (b. 1952) took breaks from the genre and devoted themselves to other works. Buckley found America too absurd for satire when it elected Donald Trump as president in 2016, and Waugh went so far as to state that his satires were not really satires at all, but rather mimetics, so absurd was British society after the First World War. The two authors also share similar, privileged, backgrounds that provided them with opportunities others could only dream of. Yet, these rarefied circles in which they traveled were the very targets they chose for their satire. An important factor, also, is biographical: both had demanding, eccentric fathers for whom they could never quite measure up and who shaped the satire their sons wrote.
Citable link to this pagehttps://nrs.harvard.edu/URN-3:HUL.INSTREPOS:37364893