Irony In Philosophy, Romanticism, and Criticism:
Selected Bibliography

Compiled by Ralph Dumain

Alford, Steven E. Irony and the Logic of the Romantic Imagination. New York: Peter Lang, 1984. (American University Studies: Ser. 3, Comparative Literature; Vol. 13)

Behler, Ernst. Irony and the Discourse of Modernity. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1990.

Bennett, Benjamin. Beyond Theory: Eighteenth-Century German Literature and the Poetics of Irony. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1993.

Booth, Wayne C. A Rhetoric of Irony. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1974.

Brooks, Cleanth. “The Language of Paradox,” in The Well-Wrought Urn: Studies in the Structure of Poetry (1947) (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1975), pp. 3-21. Also at Google Books.

Colebrook, Claire. Irony in the Work of Philosophy. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2002.

Dane, Joseph A. The Critical Mythology of Irony. Athens, GA: The University of Georgia Press, 1991.

Fernandez, James W.; Huber, Mary Taylor; eds. Irony in Action: Anthropology, Practice, and the Moral Imagination. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001.

Flay, Joseph C. "The Dialectic of Irony and the Irony of Dialectic", The Owl of Minerva, vol. 25, no. 2, Spring 1994, 209-214.

Flay, Joseph C. "Hegel's Science of Logic: Ironies of the Understanding", in: Essays on Hegel's Logic [Papers & replies delivered at 10th biennial meeting of the Hegel Society of America, Loyola University of Chicago, Oct. 7-9, 1988], ed. by George di Giovanni (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1990), pp. 153-169.

Furst, Lilian R. Fictions of Romantic Irony. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1984.

Garber, Frederick. Romantic Irony. Amsterdam; Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company, 1988. (Comparative History of Literatures in European Languages; v. 8)

Grimwood, Tom. "Irony, Authority, Interpretation," Skepsi, vol. 2, no. 2 (2009), pp. 86-97.

Haiman, John. Talk Is Cheap: Sarcasm, Alienation, and the Evolution of Language. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 1998.

Handwerk, Gary J. Irony and Ethics in Narrative: From Schlegel to Lacan. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1985.

Hegel, G.W.F.; Behler, Diana I., trans. "Solger's Posthumous Writings and Correspondence", in: Encyclopedia of the Philosophical Sciences in Outline and Critical Writings, ed. By Ernst Behler (New York: Continuum, 1990 [The German Library; no. 24]), pp. 265-319.

Hutcheon, Linda. Irony's Edge: The Theory and Politics of Irony. London; New York: Routledge, 1995.

Hutcheon, Linda. A Poetics of Postmodernism: History, Theory, Fiction. New York; London: Routledge, 1988. See diagram The Functions of Irony.

Hutcheon, Linda. A Theory of Parody: The Teachings of Twentieth-Century Art Forms. New York; London: Methuen, 1985.

Irony in Language and Thought: A Cognitive Science Reader, edited by Raymond W. Gibbs, Jr. and Herbert L. Colston. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2007. Routledge: contents, sample text, etc. Google books. LOC: Table of contents, references, et al.

Jay, Martin. “Irony and Dialectics: One-Dimensional Man and 1968 Critical Theory,” in Splinters in Your Eye: Frankfurt School Provocations (London; New York: Verso Books, 2020).

Kaufman, Will. The Comedian as Confidence Man: Studies in Irony Fatigue. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1997. (Humor in Life and Letters)

Kierkegaard, Sören; Capel, Lee M., trans. The Concept of Irony. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1968.

Kierkegaard, Sören. The Concept of Irony, with Continual Reference to Socrates: Together with Notes of Schelling's Berlin Lectures; edited and translated with introduction and notes by Howard V. Hong and Edna H. Hong. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1989.

Knox, Dilwyn. Ironia: Medieval and Renaissance Ideas on Irony. Leiden; New York: Brill, 1989. (Columbia Studies in the Classical Tradition, 0166-1302; v. 16)

Knox, Norman D. "Irony", in Dictionary of the History of Ideas: Studies of Selected Pivotal Ideas, ed. Philip P. Wiener (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1973), Vol. II, pp. 626-634.

Lang, Candace. Irony/Humor: Critical Paradigms. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1988.

Lear, Jonathan. A Case for Irony, with commentary by Cora Diamond, Christine M. Korsgaard, Richard Moran and Robert A. Paul. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2011.

Mascat, Jamila M.H. “When Negativity Becomes Vanity: Hegel’s Critique of Romantic Irony,” Stasis, vol. 1, no. 1, 2013 (Politics of Negativity), pp. 230-245.

Menke, Christoph. Tragic Play: Irony and Theater from Sophocles to Beckett, translated by James Phillips. New York: Columbia University Press, 2009.

Moreno, Hugo. “Borges’ Ironic Metaphysics: The Way of the Same and the Way of Ts’ui Pen.” [link disappeared]

See also abstract by R. Dumain.

Muecke, D.C. The Compass of Irony. London: Methuen, 1969.

Muecke, D. C. Irony and the Ironic. 2nd ed. London; New York: Methuen, 1982. [Orig. 1970] (The Critical Idiom; 13)

Murrilo, L. A. The Cyclical Night: Irony in James Joyce and Jorge Luis Borges. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1968. See Contents & Introduction and Jorge Luis Borges—The Ways of Irony in the Labyrinth of Consciousness, 1: Introductory.

Perkins, Robert L. "Hegel and Kierkegaard: Two Critics of Romantic Irony," Review of National Literatures, vol. 1, no. 2, Fall 1970 [Hegel in Comparative Literature], pp. 232-254.

Prickett, Stephen. Narrative, Religion, and Science: Fundamentalism Versus Irony, 1700-1999. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2002. Table of contents. Publisher description. Sample text.

Reid, Jeffrey. Anti-Romantic: Hegel Against Ironic Romanticism. London; New York: Bloomsbury, 2014.

Rose, Margaret A. Reading the Young Marx and Engels: Poetry, Parody and the Censor. London: Croom Helm; Totowa, NJ: Rowman and Littlefield, 1978.

Rush, Fred. Irony and Idealism: Rereading Schlegel, Hegel and Kierkegaard. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2016.

Schlegel, Friedrich; Firchow, Peter, trans. Lucinde and the Fragments. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1971.

Senger, Charles. Hegel's Aesthetic Theory and the Critique of Romanticism. Oakland, CA: Swing Shift Press, 2001 (orig. 1991). See chapter 2, "The Critique of Irony".

Simpson, David. Irony & Authority in Romantic Poetry. Totowa, NJ: Rowman and Littlefield, 1979.

Steinmüller, Hans; Brandtstädter, Susanne; eds. Irony, Cynicism, and the Chinese State. London; New York: Routledge, 2016.

Stringfellow, Frank. The Meaning of Irony: A Psychoanalytic Investigation. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1994.

Szondi, Peter. On Textual Understanding And Other Essays. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1986. (Theory and History of Literature; vol. 15)

Thulstrup, Niels; Stengren, George L., trans. Kierkegaard's Relation to Hegel. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1980.

Winokur, Jon. The Big Book of Irony. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2007. Publisher description.

Zank, Stephen. Irony and Sound: The Music of Maurice Ravel. Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press, 2009. (Eastman Studies in Music; v. 66)


Irony, in: The Oxford Companion to the English Language, Tom McArthur, 1992.

Thompson, Jennifer. "Irony: A Few Simple Definitions", Teachers' Resource Web Study Guides (Alfred J. Drake).

Barbour, Charles. “Irony machine: why are AI researchers teaching computers to recognise irony?”, The Conversation, July 25, 2022.

Rilke, Rainer Maria. Letters To A Young Poet, Letter 2 (April 5, 1903), translated by Stephen Mitchel.

Matheson, Carl. "The Simpsons, Hyper-Irony, and the Meaning of Life", in: The Simpsons and Philosophy: The D'oh! of Homer; Irwin, William; Conard, Mark T.; Skoble, Aeon J.; eds. (Chicago, IL: Open Court, 2001).

Poe's Law (RationalWiki)

Irony and Clerisy, Volume Editor, Deborah Elise White; Romantic Circles Praxis Series.

Booklist—Irony (bibliography, Feb. 2000).

Irony Game Teaching Resources | Teachers Pay Teachers

The Ring of Irony (web ring) [defunct site].

Ironio @ Ĝirafo (Irony: in English &/or Esperanto)

John Wilkins & irony
John Wilkins & irony (2)
John Wilkins & irony (3): Adorno postscript

(12 June 2000; rev. 14 June 2000, 21 June 2000, rev. 6 Sept. 2000, 15 Feb. 2001, 9 July 2001, 10 September 2001, 22 August 2002, 5 Sept. 2002, 17 Sept. 2002, 21 Sept. 2002, 25 March 2003, 2 June 2003, 17 July 2004, 17 July 2006, 11 Aug 2008, 29 July 2009, 29 January 2010, 31 July 2010, 6 September 2010, 30 June 2011, 28 September 2011, 24 January 2012, 28 Aug 2015, 18 December 2018, 5 February 2019, 22 September 2019, 8 December 2019, 7 August 2022, 23 & 30 August 2022)

An Essay towards a Real Character, and a Philosophical Language (1668):
Part III: Philosophical Grammar: Chapter 9: Syntax

by John Wilkins (with additional links & bibliography)

Humor, Irony, & Catastrophe Theory: Notes

Irony, Paradox, & Reductio ad Absurdum:
Selected Online Sources

Philosophy of Early German Romanticism,
the Oriental Renaissance, and the Historiography of Philosophy:
An Introductory Bibliography

English & German Romanticism & Philosophy: A Bibliography

Irony, Humor, & Cynicism Study Guide

Jorge Luis Borges: Selected Study Materials on the Web

Philosophical Style: Selected Bibliography

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Uploaded 12 June 2000
Last updated 16 September 202
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