In short, Maddin is too engaged to be an ironist
. He's really a practitioner of fully charged ambivalence, which emerges most strongly in Dracula in his approach toward the title character.
Edmundson posits two prototypes of the exemplary teacher--Plato, the systematic thinker who makes disciples of his pupils and guides them toward indubitable truths, and Socrates, the ironist
who offers only questions and the lonely, but exhilarating, possibilities of thinking for oneself.
Yet this argument seems to relegate Shelley's technique to that of a stylistic ironist
. Wallace's reliance on formal analysis as a central interpretative tool amounts ultimately to little more than a trainspotting of sources, and reduces Prometheus Unbound to a lumber-room of fleeting allusions, echoes, translations and borrowed voices with no guiding principle other than subversion.
Vlastos, Socrates, Ironist
and Moral Philosopher (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1991), 47-48 n.
Bourne argued, "The ironist
is the great intellectual democrat, in whose presence and before whose law all ideas and attitudes stand equa l." Bourne distinguished ironists
from the "cynics" that he criticized -- those like H.L.
Those who did take seriously Burckhardt the ironist
attributed his pessimism to the influence of Schopenhauer, or saw in it a sort of mal du siecle or, more recently, an adumbration of our own post-modern malaise.
After examining Baudelaire's essay on Constantin Guys, "Le Confiteor de l'artiste," fables of the saltimbanque, and "Les Veuves," she concludes: "The power of the artist is here unequivocally stated and yet, in destabilizing the self-satisfaction of the other, there is also the implicit destabilization of the ironist
Irony, it is claimed, detaches the ironist
from society, jades her worldview, and thereby incapacitates her from engaging in meaningful social intercourse.
In the distance between this kind of advertised "realism" and the more calculated exigency of Stalin's realism lies the perfect opportunity for a literary critique by an ironist
RICHARD RORTY'S IDEAL CHARACTER, THE "IRONIST
," is simultaneously committed to two different projects.
A critical utopia would be characterized by (1) a recognition of the contingency of language and identity; (2) an understanding of attainability as a continuous and evolving process; and (3) incorporation of the perspective of the "ironist
." Through his discussion of these particular questions, Rorty provides the tools necessary to understand their relation to utopia.
Political writing at the end of the century is frequently the province of the ironist
and the sceptic; the novelist manque the restless journalist who can cruelly illuminate for us the foibles of the great and the powerful.