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Reforming French CultureSatire, Spiritual Alienation, and Connection to Strangers$
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George Hoffmann

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198808763

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198808763.001.0001

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Pilgrims of Satire: To Go Home

Pilgrims of Satire: To Go Home

(p.102) 4 Pilgrims of Satire: To Go Home
Reforming French Culture

George Hoffmann

Oxford University Press

As the conflict deepened in France, reformers found themselves forced to adopt a more clandestine posture. Satires consequently grew more obscure as they increasingly served as an in-joke for a beset coterie. So, although outlandish satire did continue, it retreated from public dispute and acquired a tragic undertone of martyrdom. The fondness for allusions to the Odyssey betrays French reformers’ conflicted feelings over their exilic aspirations figured in references to Exodus. Satire remained one of the ways in which they could indulge nostalgia for their unreformed past, even as they demarcated themselves from it. The uneasy conjunction of Odyssey and Exodus combines into the unlikely figure of the reformer as “pilgrim,” a spiritual traveler who might one day return home.

Keywords:   Simon Goulart, clandestine Reformation, Pope’s New World, cosmopolitanism, exodus, odyssey, pilgrimage, Menippean satire, caves of Dénezé, St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre

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