A Bakhtinian Reading of John Donne’s Parody Poem “The Bait”

Refaat Alareer, Noritah Omar, Hardev Kaur

Abstract


While conventional critics seek the comic aspect of parody, modernist critics credit parody with questioning mainstream literary trends and subverting literary production. For instance, Mikhail Bakhtin believes in parody’s power to create “a decrowning double” by turning the official worldview up-side-down. For experimental poets like John Donne, parody transcends mere comical imitation into a serious practice. Donne, having lived in the heyday of the Renaissance with its overemphasis on decorum and courtly love, sought refuge in parody to resist and disturb existing norms of versification and offer an alternative worldview. This paper examines John Donne’s parody poem “The Bait” in the light of Bakhtin’s concept of parody as a decrowning double. The analysis shows that not only had Donne resorted to parody to criticize the society, but he also employed it to undermine established rules of poetry. The study concludes that Donne used parody to create an important platform to liberate poetry from dominant modes of versification, invite readers, often by means of defamiliarisation, to reconsider their stance and literary taste, and promote experimental styles; thus, Donne transcends the norms of prevalent courtly love poetry once and for all.

 


Keywords


John Donne, Parody, Poetry, Mikhail Bakhtin, Canon, Neoclassicism, Intertextuality

Full Text:

PDF

References


Abrams, Meyer Howard, and Geoffrey Harpham. A Glossary of Literary Terms. Cengage Learning, 2011.

Bakhtin, M.Mikhail Mikhailovich, and Caryl Emerson. Problems of Dostoevsky’s Poetics. U of Minnesota Press, 1993.

Benet, Diana Trevino. “Sexual Transgression in Donne’s Elegies.” Benet, D. T. (1994). Sexual Transgression in Donne’s Elegies. Modern Philology, 92(1), 14–35. JOUR.Modern Philology, vol. 92, no. 1, JSTOR, 1994, pp. 14–35, http://www.jstor.org/stable/438221.

Bild, María Aída Díaz. “A Bakhtinian Reading of Moon Tiger.” ES: Revista de Filología Inglesa, no. 17, Ediciones Universidad de Valladolid, 1993, pp. 83–90, https://dialnet.unirioja.es/descarga/articulo/2028343.pdf.

Carey, John. John Donne: Life, Mind and Art. Faber & Faber, 2011.

Damrosch, David, et al. The Longman Anthology of British Literature. Vol. 2, Longman Pub Group, 2003.

Dentith, Simon. “Parody: The New Critical Idiom.” London and New York: Routledge, 2000.

Donne, John, and Robin Robbins. The Complete Poems of John Donne. Routledge, 2014.

Dryden, John. Discourses on Satire and on Epic Poetry. BiblioBazaar, 2007.

Eliot, Thomas Stearns, and Lawrence S. Rainey. The Annotated Waste Land with Eliot’s Contemporary Prose. Yale University Press, 2006.

Halliwell, Stephen. Aristotle’s Poetics. University of Chicago Press, 1986.

Holquist, Michael. Dialogism: Bakhtin and His World. Psychology Press, 2002.

Johnson, Samuel, and John Mullan. The Lives of the Poets: A Selection. Oxford University Press, 2009.

Klarer, Mario. An Introduction to Literary Studies. Routledge, 2013.

Marlowe, Christopher. The Complete Poems and Translations. Penguin, 2007.

Moloney, Michael F. “Donne’s Metrical Practice.” Publications of the Modern Language Association of America, JSTOR, 1950, pp. 232–239, http://www.jstor.org/stable/459466.

Momeni, JavaC. “Parody of a Life Which Ls Elsewhere.” International Letters of Social and Humanistic Sciences, vol. Vol. 55, 2015, pp. 35–43, 10.18052/www.scipress.com/ILSHS.55.35.

Morris, Pam. The Bakhtin Reader: Selected Writings of Bakhtin, Medvedev, Voloshinov. Bloomsbury Academic, 2009.

Mueller, Janel. “Women among the Metaphysicals: A Case, Mostly, of Being Donne for.” Modern Philology, JSTOR, 1989, pp. 142–158, http://www.jstor.org/stable/438482.

Park‐Fuller, Linda M. “Voices: Bakhtin’s Heteroglossia and Polyphony, and the Performance of Narrative Literature.” Text and Performance Quarterly, vol. 7, no. 1, Taylor & Francis, 1986, pp. 1–12, 10.1080/10462938609391621.

Pope, Alexander. An Essay on Criticism: With Introductory and Explanatory Notes. The Floating Press, 2010.

Post, Jonathan. English Lyric Poetry: The Early Seventeenth Century. Routledge, 2002.

Rose, Margaret A. Parody: Ancient, Modern and Post-Modern. Cambridge University Press, 1993.

Sidney, Philip. An Apologyfor Poetry (or The Defence ofPoesy). Ed. Geoffrey Shepherd. 3rd edition rev. RW Maslen. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2002.

Waugh, Patricia. Metafiction. The Theory and Practice of Self-Conscious Literature. London: Methuen, 1984.

Woolf, Virginia. The Second Common Reader. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2002.




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7575/aiac.alls.v.8n.1p.200

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.




Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

2010-2019 (CC-BY) Australian International Academic Centre PTY.LTD.

Advances in Language and Literary Studies

You may require to add the 'aiac.org.au' domain to your e-mail 'safe list’ If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox'. Otherwise, you may check your 'Spam mail' or 'junk mail' folders.