By Peter J. Smith
Smith contends that the 'two stools' stand for 2 widely special attitudes in the direction of scatology. the 1st is a carnivalesque, merry, even hearty disposition, typified through the writings of Chaucer and Shakespeare. the second one is self-disgust, an angle characterized by way of withering misanthropy and hypochondria. He locates this shift in sensibility within the challenge of the English Civil warfare and the aftermath of the recovery. Smith demonstrates how the mix of low and high cultures manifests the means to run canonical and carnivalesque jointly in order that sanctioned and civilised artefacts and scatological humour usually co-exist within the works below dialogue, proof of an past culture's flair (now misplaced) to occupy a place among stools.
Of curiosity to cultural and literary historians, this ground-breaking research testifies to the coming of scatology as a tutorial topic, while recognising that it continues to be if now not outdoor, then at the least on the margins of traditional scholarship.