Wednesday, August 28, 2019

The Limerick According to Wikipedia: Essentially Transgressive

According to the ever omniscient Wikipedia:

"The form [of the limerick] appeared in England in the early years of the 18th century.[4] It was popularized by Edward Lear in the 19th century,[5] although he did not use the term. Gershon Legman, who compiled the largest and most scholarly anthology, held that the true limerick as a folk form is always obscene, and cites similar opinions by Arnold Bennett and George Bernard Shaw,[6] describing the clean limerick as a 'periodic fad and object of magazine contests, rarely rising above mediocrity.' From a folkloric point of view, the form is essentially transgressive; violation of taboo is part of its function."
There's a short quote within this block quote, as you can see, but who's being cited? Possibly Shaw, but probably Legman?
Ft. 4 See footnote 4 on Wikipedia.
Ft. 5 Brandreth, page 108.
Ft. 6 Legman 1988, pp. x-xi.
Footnotes 5 and 6 are also found in Wikipedia, as noted above.
Gyles Brandreth (1986). Everyman's Word Games.
Gershon Legman (1988). The Limerick, New York: Random House.

The two books given above seem to be the important ones for this blog entry. I'd be interested to know if any of my limericks are transgressive. Actually, I know several are. But are those that are not transgressive, then, also not limericks? That depends on what "transgressive" means.



At 6:47 AM, Blogger Carter Kaplan said...

You know what they say, "One man's 'transgressive' is another man's, 'Some people did something.'"

At 7:08 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

So I hear.

Jeffery Hodges

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