In the literary
world, pekoral is a Swedish
term introduced by Hans Kuhn
to define the kind of poor writing
by ungifted writer
s who try to imitate
some specific genre
, i.e. the romantic love novel
, or poetic doggerel
. A variation on this definition of the pekoral, which is not a frequently used term, is the play of bad writing that sometimes is done by character
s in a novel
and recreated in the novel's text.
Lemme give you a sexy example from Elizabeth Jolley's comic novel Foxybaby, the story of Alma Porch, a novelist and an English instructor at a girls' school, who is employed for the summer at a combination writers' workshop and weight-loosing camp for women.
Miss Porch decides to have her students produce a play called Foxybaby, which she is in the process of writing. It is the story of a young drug-addicted woman, her child, and her father's attempts to rescue her. The style of the play that Miss Porch has her students to put on--with surprisingly good results--is different from the style of the novel as a whole--much more melodramatic and serious:
The sound of screaming rouses Steadman. He gropes toward the cradle. He picks up the frantic baby. Everything is all right, he tells Sandy. She is standing huddled in a corner of the room. Terrified. He tries to approach her with the crying baby. She holds up both hands as if to scratch his face. Her face, smeared with melting make-up, is like the face of a frightened animal.
As quickly as he can, using one hand, Steadman fills the kettle and takes the baby's bottle from the refrigerator. He tries to talk softly to the child who is trembling against his chest. He tries to comfort Sandy. His voice shakes and he blunders about in the small spaces between the fixed furniture. He thinks he will make tea.
In his mind he goes back to the previous night, a scene of horror, during which the girl had torn up her clothes and defaced the walls of the pretty nursery at home. She had smashed cups and plates and mirrors and pictures and bitten her own arms and fingers till everything was bloodstained.
A pekoral is different from a parody in that the pekoral may not be comic, while a parody usually is. As with a parody, however, appreciation of a pekoral involves understanding why the work is deserving of parody.