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Bellies, bowels and entrails in the eighteenth century$
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Rebecca Anne Barr, Sylvie Kleiman-Lafton, and Sophie Vasset

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781526127051

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781526127051.001.0001

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Parodies of pompous knowledge: treatises on farting

Parodies of pompous knowledge: treatises on farting

(p.191) 9 Parodies of pompous knowledge: treatises on farting
Bellies, bowels and entrails in the eighteenth century

Guilhem Armand

Manchester University Press

This chapter analyses parodic treatises on winds, imagined as productions of the Rabelaisian tradition and of the new science of the Enlightenment. As science became more popular, this new popularity had its drawbacks: innumerable books, often pseudo-scientific ones, were written on every subject, and long before the advent of positivism, new scientists proclaimed the new physics had an explanation for everything. If the veneer of science allowed any subject to be turned into vain and pompous writings, then flatulence could also be an object of interest. Treatises or eulogies, these texts combine the parodies of several literary genres to form their own unique genre. From Pierre Hurtaut to Mercier de Compiègne or Swift, their authors rely on satirical winds to write on more serious matters.

Keywords:   Winds, new science, satire, parody, flatulence, knowledge

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