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Article

"XI Письмо к провинциалу" Паскаля: траектория изгнания смеха

This article examines the historical creation of the Blaise Pascal's "Provincial Letters, and their use of comic devices. Judging by their content, characters, and general pathos, the "Provincial Letters"are closest of all to the tradition of "Menippean satire". The two are united by the presence of the Jesuits as target, the aim to influence the doubting reader, the devices of burlesque, pun, comic scenarios and speech, and the combinations of genres and languages. In the architectonics of the "Provincial Letters", a special position is occupied by the 11th letter, the primary theme of which is the justification of the moking and ironic relationship toward delusion. Pascal points at the important position that irony and laughter occupy in the tradition of the Church. In addition, "wicked laughter" - the antidote for moral depravity - becomes the exception in the Christian " laughing world" of Pascal, which "banishes" wicked irony, exchanging it for the smile of the wiseman in the "Thoughts".