Gershon Legman on limericks  

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Gershon Legman on limericks

Gershon Legman, who compiled the largest and most scholarly anthology, held that the true limerick, as a folk form, is always obscene, and cites (x-xi) similar opinions by Arnold Bennett and George Bernard Shaw, describing the clean limerick as a periodic fad and object of magazine contests, rarely rising above mediocrity. That is to say, from a folkloric point of view, the form is essentially transgressive; violation of taboo is part of its function.

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