Receuil des quelques vers burlesques

Paul Scarron, Paris, 1643 (Gallica, 1655 edition)

Having spent his time polishing his knowledge of French prose, Lister turned to some lighter reading authored by Paul Scarron.

Scarron (1610-1660) contributed significantly to the development of the burlesque epic, the drama, and the novel, making the burlesque one of the most characteristic forms of seventeenth-century literature.  He was particularly known for his burlesque productions, “Le Typhon (1644), and “Le Virgile travesti” (1648-1652), as well as the “Roman comique” (1649-1657), generally considered his masterpiece.  Scarron;s work was often modeled on Spanish picaresque romances and adventures, such as the Life of Lazarillo de Tormes (1554) and it had great influence on the genre of  English Restoration “travesties”.

Crippled as a young man, most likely by polio, Scarron had a brilliant mind and exceptional powers of observation; perhaps his suffering made him especially keen to the nuances of the absurdities of the human condition.

Comments are closed.