How can someone be funny and serious at the same time? It is like asking me to see a respected guru in a capering clown. But, then, that is exactly what a satirist aspires to be and do. Satire seeks to make you laugh and make you think.
The point of all satire is to show up the foibles of individuals, leaders, social systems, history or even society at large in a funny – even ridiculous – light and make people think about their flaws. To be sure, not all satires are funny. Dark and serious satires do exist but the commonly understanding of satire is that it is humorous.
Satire can be primarily narrative in nature. In fact, most of Indian satirical writing is only narrative satire. Satire writing in English, I hasten to add, for it would take a brave man, indeed, to make a sweeping statement about the literature in so many languages and I am widely famed for my…err…diplomacy, shall we say?
By narrative satire, I mean that what is being said is not particularly funny, but the way it is being said is what makes it funny. If I am sharing a bed with someone who snores, and I find it difficult to sleep, I could say, “It is difficult to get to sleep when you are sharing a bed with a cement mixer running at top speed.” If it is funny at all, it is because of the metaphor for, otherwise, all I am saying is that “His snoring was so noisy that I found it difficult to sleep.”
It does seem like it is getting to be a habit, isn't it? For the rest you need to go to the blog of Tales Pensieve.