Bakhtin sums up a form of humour sometimes deployed by jesters seeking to enlighten the ruler.  Rather than remonstrating to change behaviour, they would agree wholeheartedly with the crackpot proposal being put forward.  By running with an idea to an absurd degree, they were often able to bring about a mid-course self-correction in the monarch.   We’ll be sharing skits and stories of this type in the months to come. 

`Truth is restored by reducing the lie to an absurdity.’

 

Source: M. Bakhtin, Rabelais and his World, trans. by Helene Iswolsky (Cambridge, MA: M.I.T. Press, 1968), p. 309.

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