Hostile Humor in Renaissance France

Cover: Hostile Humor in Renaissance France
Bruce Hayes

April 2020 • ISBN 9781644531778 • $65.00

April 2020 • ISBN 9781644531785 • $32.50

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In sixteenth-century France, the level of jokes, irony, and ridicule found in pamphlets and plays became aggressively hostile. InĀ Hostile Humor in Renaissance France, Bruce Hayes investigates this period leading up to the French Wars of Religion, when a deliberately harmful and destructive form of satire appeared.

This study examines both pamphlets and plays to show how this new form of humor emerged that attacked religious practices and people in ways that forever changed the nature of satire and religious debate in France. Hayes explores this phenomenon in the context of the Catholic and Protestant conflict to reveal new insights about the society that both exploited and vilified this kind of satire.

Bruce Hayes is Associate Professor of French and Chair of the Department of French and Italian at the University of Kansas.

Reviews of 'Hostile Humor in Renaissance France'

Bruce Hayes not only places satires in the context of a chain of historical events but also argues for their historical life, agency, and function, with the necessary close readings that allow readers better to understand these fairly obscure texts. The result is a clear and lively discussion of a tense social milieu through some biting literary texts and performances. This is an original contribution to the fields of French early modern literature and culture and the history of the Reformation.
- Antonia Szabari, University of Southern California, author of Less Rightly Said: Scandals and Readers in Sixteenth-Century France