Fools Are Everywhere
The Court Jester Around the World
Most of the work on the court jester has concentrated on Europe; Otto draws on previously untranslated classical Chinese writings and other sources to correct this bias and also looks at jesters in literature, mythology, and drama. Written with wit and humor, Fools Are Everywhere is the most comprehensive look at these roguish characters who risked their necks not only to mock and entertain but also to fulfill a deep and widespread human and social need.
“Highly readable . . . Otto has painstakingly assembled an array of stories that illustrate, and complicate, [the] delicate psychological prerequisites for humor. . . It is the jests themselves that make Otto’s book so enjoyable.”
“A most learned study of the role of the court jester in world history. . . . [Otto] manages to cover an astonishing range of cultural references without the narrative losing momentum.”