Document Type

Contribution to Book

Publication Date

2003

Abstract

Irony and knowledge exist in a problematic relationship to each other, one that is strikingly similar to that between knowledge and secrets. If irony becomes unambiguously obvious, that is, known to all, it is no longer perceived as irony. And a secret is not a secret if it is widely known. By the same token, someone must perceive irony in order for it to exist, just as a secret must be known by someone. Thus the question of whether a given author is ironic is unlikely to have a clear, unambiguous answer. The probable lack of final clarity does not make the question any less interesting, however. What I propose to discuss here is how one might decide, that is, know, whether Corneille was ironic in his theater, as well as the nature and degree of such irony.

Editor

John D. Lyons, Cara Welch

Publisher

Narr

City

Tübingen

ISBN

9783823355595

Publication Information

Le Savoir au XVIIe siècle: Actes du 34e congrès annuel de la North American Society for Seventeenth-Century French Literature, University of Virgnia, Charlottesville, 14-16 mars 2002

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