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Parody is a most iridescent phenomenon: of ancient Greek origin, parody's very malleability has allowed it to survive and to conquer Western cultures. Changing discourse on parody, its complex relationship with related humorous forms (e.g. travesty, burlesque, satire), its ability to cross genre boundaries, the many parodies handed down by tradition, and its ubiquity in contemporary culture all testify to its multifaceted nature. No wonder that 'parody' has become a phrase without clear meaning. The essays in this collection reflect the multidimensionality of recent parody studies. They pay tribute to its long and varied tradition, covering examples of parodic practice from the Middle Ages to the present day and dealing with English, American, postcolonial, Austrian, and German parodies. The papers range from the Medieval classics (e.g. Chaucer), parodies of Shakespeare, and the role of parody in German Romanticism, to parodies of fin-de-siècle literature and the intertextual puzzles of the late twentieth century (such as cross-dressing, Schwab's Faust parody, and Rushdie's Satanic Verses). And they have transformed the contentious nature of parody into a diverse range of methodologies. In doing so, these essays offer a survey of the current state of parody studies.