Satire and the Academic Novel (2519 words)

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

  • Charles Knight (University of Massachusetts, Boston)


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The satiric campus novel, in its contemporary form, begins with a cluster of novels written in the 1950s: Kingsley Amis’s Lucky Jim (1954) and Malcolm Bradbury’s Eating People is Wrong (1959) in Britain; Mary McCarthy’s The Groves of Academe (1953) and Randell Jarrell’s Pictures from an Institution (1954) in the United States. But education has been a subject of satire since Aristophanes mocked Socrates in Clouds (423 BC) and Lucian attacked philosophers and rhetoricians in the second century. Novels of education constitute a recognized category including hundreds of examples. The problem of making distinctions that identify the satiric campus novel is intensified by the tendency of …

Knight, Charles. "Satire and the Academic Novel". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 16 May 2005
[, accessed 28 October 2016.]

Related Groups

  1. Novelistic Genres