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Semiotics 1980 pp 467-474 | Cite as

The Ironic Sign

  • Leon Satterfield

Abstract

Talking about literary irony in conventional ways, we often get into difficulty when we make the obvious distinction between rhetorical irony and situational irony. The trouble comes when we try to explain what the two have in common. We all know that they’re somehow alike, but expressing the similarity gives us headaches. In my mind, much of that difficulty dissolves if we look at irony from a semiotic point of view, that is, as a system of signs. After an attempt at showing how ironic signs--both rhetorical and situational--work, I want to raise a different kind of question: What is irony itself a sign of? That is, what metaliterary sign does the ironist send out about himself through his use of irony?

Keywords

Double Sign Obvious Distinction Double Meaning Ironic Sign Modest Proposal 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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References

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    The Compass of Irony (London, 1969), p. 10.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Irony in Tom Jones, (University, Ala., 1965), p. 13.Google Scholar
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    A Rhetoric of Fiction (Chicago, 1961), p. 300.Google Scholar
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    From Le Procurateur de Judée, quoted in Muecke, p. 26.Google Scholar
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    The Dry Mock, A Study of Irony in Drama (Berkeley, 1948), p. 59.Google Scholar
  6. Raymond W. Barry and A. J. Wright, Literary Terms: Definitions, Explanations, Examples (San Francisco, 1966), p. 47.Google Scholar
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    Sense and Sensibility in Modern Poetry (Chicago, 1948), p. 132.Google Scholar
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    The Art of Satire (Cambridge, Mass., 1940), p. 142.Google Scholar
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    Quoted in Booth’s A Rhetoric of Irony (Chicago, 1974), p. x.Google Scholar
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    Literary Irony and the Literary Audience: Studies in the Victimization of the Reader in Augustan Fiction (Amsterdam, 1974), p. 102Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leon Satterfield
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EnglishNebraska Wesleyan UniversityLincolnUSA

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