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I'm writing a paper about a book that is a parody of another work. Is there a word, similar to debtee to debtor, that will work in this situation?

Specifically, Lord of the Flies (Golding, 1954) as a parody of The Coral Island (Ballantyne, 1857).

The sentence is, "This is perhaps that reason that it has stood the test of over fifty years time, that it, unlike its (parodee?)..."

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It seems like I always come up with the most difficult questions. Well, good luck to all who may attempt to discover an answer to this, and many thanks to those who do. –  Meepinator Feb 22 '12 at 8:43
    
There is, of course, no word debtee: the word is creditor. This may be a clue. –  TimLymington Feb 22 '12 at 13:54
    
@TimLymington Hmm, I was able to find debtee in a dictionary, though it was synonymous with creditor. Perhaps I could have out a bit more effort in my analogy. However, it was four a.m. at the time, so I'll use that as my excuse. –  Meepinator Feb 22 '12 at 14:33

4 Answers 4

up vote 5 down vote accepted

In wikipedia and freedictionary entries for parody I don't see any particular words in use for the work that is the source of inspiration for a parody. Instead, phrases like "the subject of the parody", "the original work", "the earlier work", and "the parodied text" are used.

Note that Lord of the Flies (Golding, 1954) is not a parody of The Coral Island (Ballantyne, 1857), nor, of course, vice versa. Wikipedia's article re Coral Island refers to Golding's novel as a "literary response" to the older book. Had The Coral Island been written after Lord of the Flies it probably would have been referred to as a bastardization or pastiche of Lord of the Flies, rather than as a parody of it or literary response to it.

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For the intentions of my paper, I was considering the work as it it were a parody, though I suppose that it may not have been originally intended as such. Many thanks for the thorough answer. –  Meepinator Feb 22 '12 at 13:23

I think, as long as the relationship has been well established, that "subject" might be an acceptable shorthand. It is the subject of the parody, so as long as you are clear what you are talkig about, and have introduced the parody/subject relationship well enough, this should provide enough of a cue.

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I would use the word "target". However, to use it in your sentence, I think should to make it clearer that this is the target of a parody. That is, you could say

"This is perhaps the reason this parody has stood the test of over fifty years time; that it, unlike its target ..."

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Perhaps "butt" as in "the butt of the joke".

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