Is Parody a Legitimate Literary Form?

First, let’s define parody and distinguish how it is different from satire.

Parody is an imitation of the style of a particular writer, artist, or genre with deliberate exaggeration for comic effect.

Satire is the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.

So parody is specifically a comic form of imitation that is exaggerated for comedy while satire uses many forms of humor, irony and ridicule in addition to exaggeration to create commentary on social, political, and other topical issues. While parody can be satire, not all satire is parody.

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get one thing clear – I’m a huge fan of parody. My favorite television shows are often parodies, such as The Daily Show with Jon Stewart or The Office. As I write this post, I am also listening to Bad Religion’s new Christmas album. Any fans of Bad Religion know that the band is well known for stand against established religious practices, so the album is, of course, a parody.

My two favorite Youtube.Com videos at the moment are Seth Rogan and James Franco’s parody of Bound 2 originally by Kanye West –

And the Chatroulette.Com parody of Wrecking Ball originally by Miley Cyrus.

So now that I’ve established my like for parody, I will now express that I do in fact think that literary parody is a literary form, and here’s why.

Parody takes creativity, planning, and deep thought just as other literary forms require. On top of all of that creativity, planning and deep thinking, the person exicuting the parody must become familiar with the original item they are making the parody of and transform it in a way that references the original so the reader or viewer can understand the context as well as transform it in a way that makes it entertaining for others to behold. Below are some popular forms of literary parody for you to check out, if you are so interested.

For all the zombie fans out there.
For all those sea monster fans out there (I’m sure there are some).
Called a “major literary achievement” by the New York Times.
Children’s Lit parodies count still.
This is one of my personal favorites.
It was a book before it was a movie.

(Credit: All Images from Amazon.Com or Wikipedia.Org)

So, all you parody fans out there, let us know what you think of these books and what other ones you feel we should add to our parody book list.

– Amanda Riggle

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