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From the Sermon on the Mount in the manner of the New English Bible: `I also might make bold to say that you cannot serve God and Money. Do not feed your pearls to pigs, and be ready for action, with belts fastened and lamps alight. Thank you for giving me a hearing.'---Dwight Macdonald
From a Turner Prize dinner: `Sir Nicholas then reached for an empty bottle of wine, and poured its lack of contents into my glass. Simon leant forward and whispered, "He is making a very important statement about something and nothing..."'---Craig Brown
From `Christopher Robin goes coughety cough':`Christopher Robin is drawing his pension; He lives in a villa in Spain; He suffers from chronic bronchitis and tension, And never goes out in the rain.'---Paul Griffin
From The Declaration of Independence translated into American: `First, me and you is as good as anybody else, and maybe a damn sight better...'---H. L. Mencken
Parodies come in all shapes and sizes. There are broad parodies and subtle parodies, ingenious imitations and knockabout spoofs, scornful lampoons and affectionate pastiches. All these varieties, and many others, are represented in this stunning new anthology, which provides an unparalleled introduction to the parodist's art. The classics of the genre are all here, from Lewis Carroll to Max Beerbohm; but so are scores of lesser known but scarcely less gifted figures, and brilliant contemporaries such as Craig Brown and Wendy Cope.
At every stage there are surprises. Chaucer celebrates Miss Joan Hunter Dunn, Proust visits Chelsea, Yeats re-writes `Old King Cole', Harry Potter encounters Mick Jagger, a modernized Sermon on the Mount rubs shoulders with an obituary of Sherlock Holmes. The collection provides a hilarious running commentary on literary history, but it also looks beyond literature in the narrow sense to take in such things as advertisements, legal rituals, political warfare, and a scientific hoax