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Playing the fool : subversive laughter in troubled times

Author: Ralph Lerner
Publisher: Chicago : University of Chicago Press, ©2009.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
The role of the fool is to provoke the powerful to question their convictions, preferably while avoiding a beating. Fools accomplish this not by hectoring their audience, but by broaching sensitive topics indirectly, often disguising their message in a joke or a tale. Writers and thinkers throughout history have adopted the fool's approach, and here Ralph Lerner turns to six of them--Thomas More, Francis Bacon,  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Electronic books
Criticism, interpretation, etc
Additional Physical Format: Print version:
Lerner, Ralph.
Playing the fool.
Chicago : The University of Chicago Press, ©2009
(DLC) 2008051926
(OCoLC)281091955
Named Person: Thomas More, Saint; Francis Bacon; Robert Burton; Pierre Bayle; Benjamin Franklin; Edward Gibbon; Francis Bacon; Pierre Bayle; Robert Burton; Benjamin Franklin; Edward Gibbon; Thomas More, Saint
Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Ralph Lerner
ISBN: 9780226473178 0226473171
OCLC Number: 475007593
Description: 1 online resource (134 pages)
Contents: Acknowledgments; Introduction; 1 Tomfoolery in Earnest; 2 The Jihad of St. Alban; 3 Burton's Antics; 4 Remedial Education in Professor Bayle's History Class; 5 Franklin's Double Take on Rights; 6 The Smile of a Philosophic Historian; Index of Names.
Responsibility: Ralph Lerner.

Abstract:

The role of the fool is to provoke the powerful to question their convictions, preferably while avoiding a beating. Fools accomplish this not by hectoring their audience, but by broaching sensitive topics indirectly, often disguising their message in a joke or a tale. Writers and thinkers throughout history have adopted the fool's approach, and here Ralph Lerner turns to six of them--Thomas More, Francis Bacon, Robert Burton, Pierre Bayle, Benjamin Franklin, and Edward Gibbon--to elucidate the strategies these men employed to persuade the heedless, the zealous, and the overly confident to pause.

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