Antti-Ville Kärjä — University of Tampere, Finland
Parody may be conceived as an intertextual artistic genre or mode of expression in its own right, but it can equally be approached as an interpretive strategy that is based more on the context of reception than any artistic intentions. To treat parody as an interpretive strategy is to consider also its political dimensions: for what purposes might a phenomenon be interpreted as parodical?
To what extent might evaluations of parodical reiteration, inversion, misdirection, literalisation, extraneous inclusion or exaggeration serve as defence strategies of sorts in situations where cultural differences for instance are subject to negotiation? This links questions of interpreting parody to broader issues concerning the cultural politics of humour and ridicule. In musical situations, additional questions are raised by the allegedly non-referential quality of music; yet music lends itself to intertextual analysis just as easily as any other form of symbolic communication, which then forms the basis for investigating how various musical juxtapositions, whether or not taken as indications of incongruence or exaggeration, contribute to parodic interpretations and their politics.