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A Theory of Parody: The Teachings of Twentieth-Century Art Forms Paperback – September 27, 2000

ISBN-13: 978-0252069383 ISBN-10: 0252069382

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A Theory of Parody: The Teachings of Twentieth-Century Art Forms + Parody: Ancient, Modern and Post-modern (Literature, Culture, Theory) + Parody (The New Critical Idiom)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: University of Illinois Press (September 27, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0252069382
  • ISBN-13: 978-0252069383
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #582,798 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Linda Hutcheon's thoughtful engagement with the theory of parody picks its way meticulously through this conceptual minefield, to emerge with a convincing map of the terrain... [A] scrupulously reasoned case made more persuasive by the tenacity with which its details have been pursued." -- Terence Hawkes, Times Literary Supplement

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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Rosana Mendes Campos on December 28, 2000
Format: Paperback
Linda Hutcheon's A Theory of Parody is one of the most important theoretical books of the decade not only on parody but also on postmodernism. The dispute over the worth of postmodern art revolves around one of its most striking features, i.e. the outburst of intertextuality in the form of parody and pastiche. This proliferation of parody has been described as an exhaustion of creativity, appropriation of the property of others, borrowing, pirating, and cannibalisation; all of which descriptions are quite derogative. Parodists have, therefore, been considered minor artists, who take out their spite on acclaimed authors by ridiculing them. Linda Hutcheon's views on parody are far more positive and allows us to analyse contemporary writers and give them their due worth. She claims that postmodern parody has changed in its essentials when it became an imitation with critical distance. It is a highly sophisticated genre and has come to be almost an autonomous literary form. It is, in fact, a form of literary criticism. According to her, parody is "repetition with critical distance;" it is "stylistic confrontation," a modern re-coding which establishes "difference at the heart of similarity." In short, in order for one to criticise any modern work of art, I believe that her theory becomes an essential tool, since it enables us to establish the relations between the work of art and all the included references, allusions and quotations, and moreover, to discover the evaluative judgement the author expresses on both the parodied texts and on his/her own text. Hutcheon's theory on parody helps us understand better what happens to the quotation from a canonical text when it is transported into a postmodern text which uses fragmentation and irony to subvert the original meaning. Conversely, Parodies offer a dialogue and a re-evaluation of the past in the light of the present, and a critical view of present from the perspective of the past.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By dr. lowbrow on June 13, 2004
Format: Paperback
Hutcheon's definition of parody is much broader than most, and I believe it is both fitting and useful. Parodic works, to Hutcheon, are not those which imitate at the expense of the parodied text (that's satire). Rather, they confront the past, and explore the difference between the parodied text and the present. As she writes, the pleasure comes from the degree of engagement of the viewer/listener in "intertextual bouncing" between the familiar and the new.
The book's premise is that parody is a genre fundamental to 20th century art forms. The works cited come from a wide range of disciplines, and are both modern and postmodern. The language is rather straight-forward and clear, a welcome diverson from many contemporary theorists. In fact, I found the book perhaps too repetitive, too focused on making a single point. Still, Hutcheon provides a thoughtful viewpoint from which to enjoy - and to make - art.
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