Forging the canon ...

In addition to being an exuberant celebration, aims to be the global scholarly reference and springboard for further fool studies.  As such, a serious consideration is how best to present the hundreds of references used in writing the book and discovered since.  

Simply pouring out a dazzling alphabetic cascade of names and titles feels like overload in an online medium, even though it works in a printed book. Surely too-much-too-soon for readers who, however intrigued by the fool, may have other demands on their time.  

Aims and approaches

More useful – I believe – is to feature meaningful additions to the literature of fools as I find or revisit them. The approach will be to both evaluate their contribution to ‘foolology’ (including their originality, appeal and eloquence), while ‘mining’ them for valuable (or just plain irresistible) jester stories, examples, images and quotations which may or may not have made it into Fools Are Everywhere. 

The aim on this page and its companion is therefore to build a judiciously selected and indispensable canon of primary and secondary sources and an annotated bibliography of erudite yet engaging studies.

This will also inform the development of a ‘gap map’ highlighting neglected areas of research or translation, encouraging people to plough fresh furrows in the field of fools.  

But let’s get started.  First up, a landmark work of classical Chinese… click on the War Lords image below.  


First up – Sima Qian’s ‘Jesters’

Next up – Enid Welsford – The Fool

Then – Shulman – The king and the clown


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Design and content copyright: Beatrice Otto 2019 all rights reserved I I I I I header & related jester illustrations by

Colours and fonts were chosen for aesthetic strength and because their names reflect the mission of Fonts: Quipley I Lustria I Wild Pen.

Colours include: Jester Yellow by Faeriepuffs I New Laughter by Ilara


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