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Gulliver's Travels: Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World.
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Old School Classics, Pre-1900 > Gulliver's Travels - No Spoilers - Revisited

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message 1: by Katy, New School Classics (new) - added it

Katy (kathy_h) | 9339 comments Mod
We will use the same threads for this book as were used last time, along with this one. Welcome to the read.

message 3: by Katy, New School Classics (new) - added it

Katy (kathy_h) | 9339 comments Mod
Jonathan Swift

Jonathan Swift (30 November 1667 – 19 October 1745) was an Anglo-Irish[1] satirist, essayist, political pamphleteer (first for the Whigs, then for the Tories), poet and cleric who became Dean of St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin.

He is remembered for works such as Gulliver's Travels, A Modest Proposal, A Journal to Stella, Drapier's Letters, The Battle of the Books, An Argument Against Abolishing Christianity, and A Tale of a Tub. Swift is probably the foremost prose satirist in the English language,[dubious – discuss] and is less well known for his poetry. Swift originally published all of his works under pseudonyms – such as Lemuel Gulliver, Isaac Bickerstaff, MB Drapier – or anonymously. He is also known for being a master of two styles of satire: the Horatian and Juvenalian styles.

message 4: by Dan (new)

Dan | 80 comments I studied this work in some depth as part of an undergraduate English course that surveyed this time period. I must admit to taking some issue with the Wikipedia post on Gulliver's Travels.

First of all, most, almost all satire until late in the twentieth century was written in the form of poetry. Dryden is my personal favorite master of this form. Lord Byron was really good at poetical satire too. Jonathan Swift was one of the first to try his hand at satire in prose form. That we still read Gulliver's Travels today is a testament to his talent at satire. His shorter work, A Modest Proposal, is even more scathing satire because it is shorter and thus more concentrated.

My second bone with the Wikipedia article is to describe Swift a master at two styles of satire: Horatian and Juvenalian. Well, since there are only two formally recognized styles of satire, that is really saying very little. Sort of as though I were to say he likes to ingest two types of food, cooked and uncooked. Besides, Swift's satire really isn't that Juvenalian to my way of thinking. Has anyone ever read any Juvenal? It truly isn't funny, just angry. Swift, I find, is always funny.

message 5: by Katy, New School Classics (new) - added it

Katy (kathy_h) | 9339 comments Mod
Hi Dan. I am so glad that I posted that Wikipedia article because I love your post. I took the minimum English classes at the university, so I really know nothing about literature; but I do love to read.

I am excited to have you give your insights as we read Gulliver's travels. It will be so fun to learn more about the period and book. Thanks for chiming in. I look forward to your expertise, as I have none.

message 6: by Katy, New School Classics (last edited Aug 27, 2013 09:17PM) (new) - added it

Katy (kathy_h) | 9339 comments Mod
BTW I honestly didn't even know what Juvenalian style even was, so I looked it up.

Juvenalian satire, in literature, any bitter and ironic criticism of contemporary persons and institutions that is filled with personal invective, angry moral indignation, and pessimism. The name alludes to the Latin satirist Juvenal, who, in the 1st century ad, brilliantly denounced Roman society, the rich and powerful, and the discomforts and dangers of city life. Samuel Johnson modeled his poem London on Juvenal’s third satire and The Vanity of Human Wishes on the 10th. Gulliver’s Travels (1726) established Jonathan Swift as the master of Juvenalian satire. In the 20th century, Karl Kraus’s indictments of the prevailing corruption in post-World War I Austria were in the Juvenalian tradition.

message 7: by Katy, New School Classics (last edited Aug 27, 2013 09:18PM) (new) - added it

Katy (kathy_h) | 9339 comments Mod
I know that Wikipedia is not an expert but here is an article on
Horatian vs Juvenalian

Horatian satire, named for the Roman satirist Horace (65–8 BCE), playfully criticizes some social vice through gentle, mild, and light-hearted humour. It directs wit, exaggeration, and self-deprecating humour toward what it identifies as folly, rather than evil. Horatian satire's sympathetic tone is common in modern society.

The Ig Novel Prize
The Unabridged Devil's Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce by Ambrose Bierce Ambrose Bierce
The True-Born Englishman A Satyr by Daniel Defoe by Daniel Defoe Daniel Defoe
The Screwtape Letters  by C.S. Lewis by C.S. Lewis C.S. Lewis
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain by Mark Twain Mark Twain

Juvenalian satire,named after the Roman satirist Juvenal (late 1st century – early 2nd century CE), is more contemptuous and abrasive than the Horatian. Juvenalian satire addresses social evil through scorn, outrage, and savage ridicule. This form is often pessimistic, characterized by irony, sarcasm, moral indignation and personal invective, with less emphasis on humor. Strongly polarized political satire is often Juvenalian.

England, England by Julian Barnes by Julian Barnes Julian Barnes
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury by Ray Bradbury Ray Bradbury
A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess by Anthony Burgess Anthony Burgess
Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs by William S. Burroughs William S. Burroughs
American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis by Bret Easton Ellis Bret Easton Ellis
Lord of the Flies by William Golding by William Golding William Golding
Catch-22 (Catch-22, #1) by Joseph Heller by Joseph Heller Joseph Heller
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley by Aldous Huxley Aldous Huxley
1984 by George Orwell by George Orwell George Orwell
A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift by Jonathan Swift Jonathan Swift
Candide by Voltaire by Voltaire Voltaire

message 8: by Dan (last edited Aug 28, 2013 10:34AM) (new)

Dan | 80 comments Kathy,

Thank you for the kind words. I am a bit surprised at some of your article's classifications. I put Swift squarely in the Horatian camp because he uses so much humor to make his points and seldom attacks any single individual or even institution with anger. He simply points out follies, at least that is my perception. Twain on the other hand dips down into Juvenalian satire quite frequently. For example, his condemnation of James Fenimore Cooper's writing, all of it, but especially Deerslayer, is as biting and personal an attack on another human being as I have ever read. Here it is, if you're curious:

Here is a good example of Juvenalian satire (from ). It was written by Juvenal himself:

Satire I:45-80 It’s a Litany of Crime

How can I describe the fierce anger burning my fevered gut,
When people are crushed by the herd behind some despoiler
Who prostituted his ward, or one found guilty in a wasteful
Trial? How could disgrace matter if the money’s safe?
Marius Priscus, in exile, drinks all afternoon, enjoying
The gods’ displeasure, while you, the dutiful winner, weep.
Isn’t that worth shining a light on, one lit by old Horace?
Isn’t that my task? What better? No dull tales of Hercules,
Please, or Diomedes, or that bellowing in the labyrinth,
Or the sea struck by the wing-wrecked son of a flying artisan,
When a husband accepts a wife’s lover’s gifts, and no law
Against her cheating: expert now at staring up at the ceiling,
An expert too at snoring over his cup through vigilant nose?
When someone who’s lavished his wealth on the horses, blown
The family fortune, thinks he’s the right to expect a command,
Just for racing his speeding chariot down the Flaminian Way,
Like some puny Automedon? Yes, he was clutching the reins,
Himself, while showing off to his girlfriend, her in the cloak.
Surely I’m allowed to fill a fat notebook at the crossroads
When they carry past, on six shoulders, no less, some false
Signatory, exhibited, this side and that, in his almost bare
Litter, one, strongly resembling the effeminate Maecenas,
Who’s made himself distinguished and rich with the aid
Of a brief roll of paper, and a moist signet ring?
When a powerful lady is next, who mixes in dried toad’s
Venom, while offering her husband mellow Calenian wine,
Improves on Lucusta, by teaching her simple neighbours
How to bury their skin-blotched husbands to public acclaim.
If you want to be someone, do something worthy of prison,
Exile on tiny Gyara – the honest are praised, but neglected.
It’s crime brings the gardens, mansions, elaborate dinners,
Old silver plate, and those drinking-cups carved with goats.
Who can sleep, for seducers of greedy daughters-in-law,
Who can sleep, for impure brides and teenage adulterers?
If talent is lacking, then indignation can fashion my verse,
Of such kind as poets like me, or Cluvenius, produce.

I think we will find Swift's satire less personal and far gentler than the two examples of Juvenalian satire given above.

message 9: by Katy, New School Classics (new) - added it

Katy (kathy_h) | 9339 comments Mod
Thanks Dan. I've learned something already. It will be interesting to read Gulliver's travels with this in mind.

I'm not sure I could categorize books or writings on types of satire, but at least I have an inkling of an idea now.

Of all the books on the lists from the article I found, I have only read Brave New World. I believe I missed the satire in that one, but it has been many years since I've read it too.

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley by Aldous Huxley Aldous Huxley

message 10: by Katy, New School Classics (new) - added it

Katy (kathy_h) | 9339 comments Mod
We are open for discussion. Who is in for the re-read?

message 11: by Dan (last edited Sep 01, 2013 03:53PM) (new)

Dan | 80 comments I am in for the first time read! I read assigned parts of this book back in 2008, but now plan to read it cover to cover. My edition has 189 pages of text (counting prefaces, etc.). So that's 15 pages the first day, and 6 pages per day thereafter. Should be fun.

I hope someone has a well annotated version and will share some of those annotations with us. My copy is not annotated or in any way edited. From what I can remember of class discussions, most of what Swift is writing about are thinly disguised ideas floating around during his time period about what programs would improve society the best. Some of these were truly wacky. Swift then takes that social idea to one extreme or another in order to make fun of it.

I remember reading or hearing in class that Swift chose this genre (the travelogue) to tell his story in because travel writing was very popular back in his day. People were not all that mobile. So one of the only ways people had to find out about other parts of the world was to read about it. Travel writers started to compete with one another to gain audiences. One of the ways to gain an audience was to have a fantastic and really odd tale of some incredibly remote land. The farther away set and odder the tale, the better the story would sell. At least that is what many travel writers thought. So Swift set out to top all the other travel writers, and set his story in the most remote and oddest land. His story was too obviously fantastical to be believed. Swift was satirizing (making fun of) the other more serious travel writers by outdoing them.

message 12: by Dan (new)

Dan | 80 comments It appears I may have written too quickly when I stated above there being only two forms of satire. I have just run into a third: Menippean satire. This makes me wonder how many other classifications may exist.

message 13: by Katy, New School Classics (new) - added it

Katy (kathy_h) | 9339 comments Mod
Menippean satire, seriocomic genre, chiefly in ancient Greek literature and Latin literature, in which contemporary institutions, conventions, and ideas were criticized in a mocking satiric style that mingled prose and verse. The form often employed a variety of striking and unusual settings, such as the descent into Hades. Developed by the Greek satirist Menippus of Gadara in the early 3rd century bce, Menippean satire was introduced to Rome in the 1st century bce by the scholar Varro in Saturae Menippeae. It was imitated by Seneca and the Greek satirist Lucian and influenced the development of Latin satire by Horace and Juvenal. The 1st-century-ce Satyricon of Petronius, a picaresque tale in verse and prose containing long digressions in which the author airs his views on topics having nothing to do with the plot, is in the Menippean tradition. A later example is the Satire Ménippée (1594), a French prose and verse satire on the Holy League, the political party of the Roman Catholics, written by several royalists.

And then from Wikipedia it says that Gulliver's Travels and A Tale of a Tub by Swift are examples of this satire.

A Tale of a Tub by Jonathan Swift by Jonathan Swift Jonathan Swift

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message 15: by Dan (new)

Dan | 80 comments I know a lot of people who "read" books by listening to them. Welcome to the discussion, Lisa.

message 16: by Katy, New School Classics (new) - added it

Katy (kathy_h) | 9339 comments Mod
Lisa, audio books are wonderful. When I commuted I lived for my half hour "reading" in the car.

message 17: by Lynn, Revisit the Shelf (last edited Sep 01, 2019 05:27PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lynn (lynnsreads) | 2922 comments Mod
Gulliver's Travels (1735) by Jonathan Swift will be the October Revisit the Shelf read. There are free online versions available if you prefer that mode of reading. This book is in the public domain. I could only get two of the four links that Katy had provided several years ago to work. Here is an update:

I highly recommend a website which is run by a University in Florida, The United States of America. The book is broken into chapters with text and a paired audio for the chapter. It is quite easy to download a chapter or two onto a smart phone or other device. I like to use this website to provide audiobooks for my commute to and from work.

Finally, there is a Librivox audiobook version on Youtube. I like the readers on both Lit2go and Youtube.

Paula W | 554 comments I am so excited about this. I think most people know the general idea of the story, but don’t know it in detail because they haven’t read it or they read it so long ago that they don’t remember. To me, this is a real classic that I haven’t read and I CAN’T WAIT.

Shirley (stampartiste) | 673 comments Lynn wrote: "Gulliver's Travels (1735) by Jonathan Swift will be the October Revisit the Shelf read. There are free online versions available if you prefer that mode of reading. This b..."

Thank you so much for the links, Lynn! I just followed your link to Lit2Go. What an amazing website! I plan to read/listen to Gulliver's Travels there as I think it will make it a much more pleasurable read - as I understand the story can get quite tedious at times. Again, thank you!

message 20: by Lynn, Revisit the Shelf (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lynn (lynnsreads) | 2922 comments Mod
Shirley (stampartiste) wrote: "Lynn wrote: "Gulliver's Travels (1735) by Jonathan Swift will be the October Revisit the Shelf read. There are free online versions available if you prefer that mode of re..."

You're welcome. I really loved my commutes with the Lit2Go narrator reading Sherlock Holmes stories to me. One of our other members told us about the site in the thread Secret Weapons For Reading. I learned a lot of good things in that discussion.

message 21: by Cynda (last edited Sep 28, 2019 09:07PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Cynda | 2646 comments Looks like some people will be making a effort about satire. Effort can be fun. My idea of fun effort this time--many years since I have read--will be laughing at quotable bits and recording the best of those bits in GR Quotes.

Like what Paula W said, I have not read in many years. So I am looking foward to refamiliarizing myself with Lilliputians, Yahoos, and whoever else we meet. 😀

Bryan--The Bee’s Knees (theindefatigablebertmcguinn) | 237 comments I just finished this book a few days ago...first time I'd read it. I wasn't entirely surprised by it...I'd read enough about it over the years to know that it was a bit more complex than the surface might lead one on to believe.

Just a quick comment on the Lilliputian section to start with--I thought the 'Big-Enders' vs. the 'Little-Enders' controversy was brilliant. time I need a user name for some website, I think I'm going to use Quinbus Flestrin, and see if anyone gets the joke.

Sandra (sanlema) | 126 comments I read this one in 2000 or around that date. I liked it a lot, and I hope your comments on it next month will help to refresh my mind.

message 24: by Priya (new)

Priya | 0 comments I have never read this one but I have read the Pilgrim's Progress that I loved. I am looking forward to listen to the audiobook

message 25: by Lynn, Revisit the Shelf (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lynn (lynnsreads) | 2922 comments Mod
It's so great to see so many people excited about the book. We're just two days away from October.

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