Dedicated to classics and hits.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift

Jack Black plays Gulliver in the terrible, terrible movie version of Gulliver's Travels

Gulliver's Travels
by Jonathan Swift
Originally Published 1726
Amended 1735

    I read this book back in 2008, but didn't review it.  Jonathan Swift is better characterized as a "Pamphleter" or "Satirist," not a Novelist.  The enduring popularity of Gulliver's Travels as, essentially, a children's story has been accompanied by a drastic editing of the original work.  In the original work, Gulliver travels to several other locations besides the famous land of Lilliput.

 In the book, after Lilliput he goes to Brobdingnag, a land of giants. Then, he goes to the flying Kingdom of Laputa, and Balnibarbi.  Then he goes home, then he sales again and makes it to Houyhnhnms, which is a land of perfect horses.   I'm just telling you what's in there.

  An additional, or perhaps central irony is the transformation of Gulliver's Travels from a "too hot to publish" piece of political satire to a Jack Black starring Disney movie.  It's hard to follow today, but Gulliver's Travels was thought to be "anti-whig" satire, and it's very publication was controversial.

  Basically, what I'm trying to say is that Gulliver's Travels, terrible Jack Black movie's aside, is not a children's book, it is in fact a very sharp piece of early to mid 18th century political satire.   Swift had an edge when he was alive.

No comments:

Blog Archive