Running Without Satire

There are those who think Candide is a huge satire poking fun at writers and society at one and the same time. Which, seeing as most great writers have been somehow outside mainstream society, is quite an interesting conceit and once which Voltaire is easily capable of managing. Gulliver’s Travels has long been the bane of English students who have to write the same things about it thousands have written before about how it pokes fun at the foibles of the British.

Less understood would be the advance of a dissertation on the satirical nature of so called’ holy texts’, but if like me you take religions to be commentaries on human nature the idea that the associated holy texts are satirical to some degree naturally follows. This is most easily seen in the way in which  priests can turn stories to humour with ease whether commenting on eating habits by discussing the feeding of the five thousand, or commenting on anger when discussing Moses breaking up his first draft of the ten commandments.

In fact there is so much humour and sub-texts in holy texts that prists are endlessly finding new things to say. Of course they do not talk about satire because they think there is something unerringly ‘true’ in their beliefs, but once the shackle of belief has gone then laughter at the absurd things people believe follows. Human beings are after all animals who have a high opinion of themselves and believe the myths they make-up about themselves. What could be more satirical than that?

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February 2019
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