Contribution to Book
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.
John D. Lyons & Cara Welch
Ekstein, N. (2003). Knowing irony: The problem of Corneille. In J. D. Lyons & C. Welch (Eds.), 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 (pp. 295-304). Narr.
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