A parody, also called a spoof, a satire, a send-up, a take-off, a lampoon, a play on (something), or a caricature, is a creative work designed to imitate, comment on, and/or mock its subject by means of satiric or ironic imitation. Often its subject is an original work or some aspect of it (theme/content, author, style, etc), but a parody can also be about a real-life person (e.g. a politician), event, or movement (e.g. the French Revolution or 1960s counterculture). Literary scholar Professor Simon Dentith defines parody as "any cultural practice which provides a relatively polemical allusive imitation of another cultural production or practice". The literary theorist Linda Hutcheon said "parody ... is imitation, not always at the expense of the parodied text."
Parody may be found in art or culture, including literature, music, theater, television and film, animation, and gaming. Some parody is practiced in theater.
The writer and critic John Gross observes in his Oxford Book of Parodies, that parody seems to flourish on territory somewhere between pastiche ("a composition in another artist's manner, without satirical intent") and burlesque (which "fools around with the material of high literature and adapts it to low ends"). Meanwhile, the Encyclopédie of Denis Diderot distinguishes between the parody and the burlesque, "A good parody is a fine amusement, capable of amusing and instructing the most sensible and polished minds; the burlesque is a miserable buffoonery which can only please the populace." Historically, when a formula grows tired, as in the case of the moralistic melodramas in the 1910s, it retains value only as a parody, as demonstrated by the Buster Keaton shorts that mocked that genre.
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