Building the world's most sumptuous bibliography of fools and jesters

Over time, at a comfortable clip for both reader and writer, we will build a beautiful online annotated bibliography of materials covering the full spectrum of fools and jesters.   

Click on the big, bright titles below to see our comments on each splendid contribution and, where relevant, some Gap Map suggestions for those seeking new furrows to plough.  

The latest additions are given first, with others then eased into alphabetical order by author.  Once we have some critical mass, this will be searchable by time (century, dynasty, and similar), region and language, and type (primary source, research, book or article).  

Aims and approaches

Primary sources will be featured where possible in original language editions and translation. Secondary materials are selected for quality and the value of their contribution rather than to list anything and everything fool-related.

Works deemed in one way or another outstanding or indispensable will be celebrated as canon-fodder, on a companion page.  

In either case, we also aim to bring to the fore regions or angles which have been somewhat neglected in the literature, including an endeavour to overcome a strong Eurocentric bias, at least in Western languages. Fools Are Everywhere sought to redress this imbalance, bringing Chinese fools onto the global stage in some numbers, and at least hinting of other non-European traditions, but there is still much to do and treasures to uncover.  

We aim to make this all perfectly searchable by tags and categories, regions and themes and whatnot.  

Review of Jessica Secmezsoy-Urquhart, 'Off Evere Full that in this Regeone Duellis'
Review of Erasmus - Moriae Encomium / Praise of Folly
Review of Cécile Beuzelin, '"Le Fou, le Nain et le Chien": Le monde à l'envers à la cour d'Antoine Perrenot de Granvelle' (2016)

Alphabetically listed by author

Review of Davies, Gregory, and Alison Stewart, 'Head of a Jester', Print Quarterly, 19:2 (2002)
Review of Ibn Zūlāq, Aḫbār Sībawayh al‐Miṣrī
Review of `Huixie zhuan' 詼諧傳, in Nan Tang shu 南唐書, by Ma Ling 馬令 (c. 1105)
Review of 'Grotesque Bodies' by Robin O'Bryan (2012)
Maddalena Rumor - There's no fool like an old fool - paper on the Babylonian aluzinnu
Review of Tillier, Mathieu, 'Un "Alceste Musulman": Sibawayh le fou et les Ihsidides', Bulletin d’Études Orientales, 66 (2017), pp. 117-139

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Book cover - Beatrice Otto - Fools Are Everywhere - University of Chicago Press

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