|The number of works which deal exclusively
or even largely with the grotesque is very small, although there are many
which touch on the grotesque in someway. This bibliography is confined
to those studies in the former category which may be of some genuine use.
BAGEHOT, WALTER, Wordsworth, Tennyson and Browning; or Pure, Ornate and Grotesque Art in English Poetry, in Collected Works, ed. N. St. John Stevas, vol. II, London, 1965. Although somewhat narrowly Victorian, this essay is perceptive and thought-provoking, especially on the artistic temperament.
BAKHTIN, MIKHAIL, Rabelais and His World, trans. by Helene Iswolsky, Cambridge (Mass.), 1968. The chapter on 'The Grotesque World of the Body' is a highly original and intelligent account of the 'exuberant' grotesque. One-sided but useful.
CLAYBOROUGH, ARTHUR, The Grotesque in English Literature, Oxford, 1965;. Deals only with Swift, Coleridge and Dickens. Most valuable for its history of the word 'grotesque' and summaries of other works on the subject. Clayborough's own theory should be approached with caution.
CRAMER, THOMAS, Das Groteske bei E. T. A. Hoffman, Munich, 1966. A useful psychological approach to the grotesque.
FREUD, SIGMUND, Jokes and their Relationship to the Unconscious. Trans. by James Strachey, London, 1960. The starting-point for any psychological approach to the comic, the grotesque and related matters.
HUGO, VICTOR, Preface de Cromwell (Theatre complet, ed. 1.-1. Thierry and I. Meleze, Paris, 1964). This remains one of the classic statements on the grotesque and its role in literature.
GRIMM, R., JAGGI, W., and OESCH, H. (eds.), Sinn oder Unsinn? Das Groteske im modernen Drama, Basel, 1962. A general coverage of the grotesque in the modem drama; includes a useful chapter on the Italian teatro grottesco.
JENNINGS, LEE BYRON, The Ludicrous Demon. Aspects of the Grotesque in German Post-Romantic Prose, Berkeley/Los Angeles, 1963. Has a substantial section on the nature of the grotesque ( one of the best modem analyses) and a useful bibliography.
KAYSER, WOLFGANG, The Grotesque in Art and Literature trans. by Ulrich Weisstein, Bloomington, 1963. Despite its weaknesses, still a very good general introduction to the grotesque.
KNIGHT, G. WILSON, 'King Lear and the Comedy of the Grotesque', in The Wheel of Fire, London, 4th ed., 1959. Most valuable as an assessment of the role of the grotesque in a specific work of literature.
RUSKIN, JOHN, The Stones of Venice (vol. XI of Works, ed. E. T. Cook and A. Wedderburn, London, 1904). The chapter on 'Grotesque Renaissance' is still a worthwhile account of the nature of the grotesque.
STEIG, MICHAEL, 'Defining the Grotesque: An Attempt at Synthesis', in Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, Summer 1970. The most satisfactory of the psychological approaches to the grotesque.
STYAN, JOHN LOUIS, The Dark Comedy, Cambridge, 2.nd ed., 1968. On the 'mixture of tears and laughter' in drama from Euripides to Pinter.
SYMONDS, JOHN ADDINGTON, 'Caricature, the Fantastic, the Grotesque', in Essays Speculative and Suggestive, 2. vols., London/New York, 1970. Though somewhat dated, contains some worthwhile insights.
WRIGHT, THOMAS, A History of Caricature and Grotesque in Literature and Art, New York, 1968. A large survey, still valuable although it should be approached critically. This edition has a very good introduction by Frances K. Barasch, who gives one of the best modern analyses of the grotesque.