What Is Parody? What Is a Pastiche? Parody vs. Pastiche: What’s the Difference?

Parody and pastiche offer different takes and commentaries on source material, usually to amuse an audience.

What Is a Pastiche?

Pastiche is a form of imitation in which one work of art is modeled after another in terms of style. The Italian word “pasticcio,” meaning “pie filling,” has a French counterpart in “pastiche,” meaning “pie filling” in French. Artists employ pastiche, a sort of intertextuality in which they borrow the fundamental idea or theme of another work and rework it, to create new works. A pastiche may also be a mash-up of several works, a jumble of ideas and styles from diverse places.

Pastiche is an imitation of a work of art that is neither plagiarism nor metafiction; it is more like a gentle appropriation and broad generalization of a genre or artistic movement that uses the known characteristics of that genre to please and entertain its readers, listeners, and viewers. It’s common for postmodernists to pay tribute to bygone eras and artistic movements by creating pastiches that parody or mimic old styles.

3 Examples of Pastiche

Consider the following pastiche examples from various art forms:

1. West End/Broadway musicals The Sixth Score features Henry VIII’s six queens singing about their reigns. Adele and Nicki Manaj influenced the songs.

2. Architecture: The Palace of Westminster pays respect to the Perpendicular Gothic Revival style, which predates it by a century.

3. Literature: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes influenced Michael Chabon’s novella The Final Solution (2003). The 89-year-old “old man” hunts for a lost parrot that is a tiny boy’s dearest friend.

What Is Parody?

Parody, like satire, pokes fun at current events or art for comic effect. Parodies, like spoofs, gently mock the original work. The art, fashion, music, and short tales parodists mock will strongly impact their own work.

3 Examples of Parody

The following films and TV shows parody current events, genres, and classic literary works:

1.On Saturday Night Live:* The New York-based TV show SNL often uses parody. The cast will write scenes that play out the events of the week in a funny way.

2. Vampires Suck: The 2010 movie Vampires Suck takes advantage of people’s interest in vampires in the early 2000s (most notably in the Twilight series), using the zeitgeist to make a spoofy movie with familiar fantasy tropes.

3. Robin Hood: Men in Tights is a parody of the 1991 movie Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and the 1883 book The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood of Great Renown in Nottinghamshire. It was directed by Mel Brooks and came out in 1993.

Parody vs. Pastiche: What’s the Difference?

Parody and pastiche are different types of mimicking. Intertextuality uses existing entities, although parody mocks and pastiche honors. Trends, persons, and events are parodied. Pastiche is art that borrows aspects from a familiar genre or style.

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