A Modest Proposal and Other Satirical Works

Courier Corporation
10
Free sample

The originality, concentrated power and "fierce indignation" of his satirical writing have earned Jonathan Swift (1667–1745) a reputation as the greatest prose satirist in English language.
Gulliver's Travels is, of course, his world-renowned masterpiece in the genre; however, Swift wrote other, shorter works that also offer excellent evidence of his inspired lampoonery. Perhaps the most famous of these is "A Modest Proposal," in which he straight-facedly suggests that Ireland could solve its hunger problems by using its children for food. Also included in this collection are "The Battle of the Books," "A Meditation upon a Broomstick," "A Discourse Concerning the Mechanical Operation of the Spirit," and "An Argument Against Abolishing Christianity in England." This inexpensive edition will certainly be welcomed by teachers and students of English literature, but its appeal extends to any reader who delights in watching a master satirist wield words as weapons.
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About the author

Apparently doomed to an obscure Anglican parsonage in Laracor, Ireland, even after he had written his anonymous masterpiece, A Tale of a Tub (c.1696), Swift turned a political mission to England from the Irish Protestant clergy into an avenue to prominence as the chief propagandist for the Tory government. His exhilaration at achieving importance in his forties appears engagingly in his Journal to Stella (1710--13), addressed to Esther Johnson, a young protegee for whom Swift felt more warmth than for anyone else in his long life. At the death of Queen Anne and the fall of the Tories in 1714, Swift became dean of St. Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin. In Ireland, which he considered exile from a life of power and intellectual activity in London, Swift found time to defend his oppressed compatriots, sometimes in such contraband essays as his Drapier's Letters (1724), and sometimes in such short mordant pieces as the famous A Modest Proposal (1729); and there he wrote perhaps the greatest work of his time, Gulliver's Travels (1726). Using his characteristic device of the persona (a developed and sometimes satirized narrator, such as the anonymous hack writer of A Tale of a Tub or Isaac Bickerstaff in Predictions for the Ensuing Year, who exposes an astrologer), Swift created the hero Gulliver, who in the first instance stands for the bluff, decent, average Englishman and in the second, humanity in general. Gulliver is a full and powerful vision of a human being in a world in which violent passions, intellectual pride, and external chaos can degrade him or her---to animalism, in Swift's most horrifying images---but in which humans do have scope to act, guided by the Classical-Christian tradition. Gulliver's Travels has been an immensely successful children's book (although Swift did not care much for children), so widely popular through the world for its imagination, wit, fun, freshness, vigor, and narrative skill that its hero is in many languages a common proper noun. Perhaps as a consequence, its meaning has been the subject of continuing dispute, and its author has been called everything from sentimental to mad. Swift died in Dublin and was buried next to his beloved "Stella.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Courier Corporation
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Published on
Feb 29, 2012
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Pages
64
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ISBN
9780486110752
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Satire
Literary Collections / European / English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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