Sunday, June 19, 2011


The Dubliners - Clavelitos

In the hostel in Dublin, there was a white board with suggestions of where to go next.

Shannon, Ireland

Swift is actually a crazy person. He uses biting Juvenalian satire in his works and is a coprophiliac. His writing is precise and clear and situationally ironic.

Gulliver’s Travels

  • as a whole, divided into four books
  • satire of men’s desires for scientific knowledge
  • inventive travel through literature - plays around with perspective - makes insignificant things more important and unimportant things insignificant
  • Gulliver is first a victim of a shipwreck and has lost his glasses so is concerned with his eyes because he lacks protection
  • Swift wants the reader the see the emphasis on seeing clearly
  • Gulliver has characteristics of every man - gullible - to gull someone is to trick them - he is easily gulled
  • the Lilliputans are nasty and petty so we side with Gulliver - he is the gentle, well-meaning person who is not trusted
  • the little people chain him to an abandoned church - they are small-minded, secretive, waspish, irritable and morally little
  • they are representative of English people - religious quarrels, etc.
  • the Lilliputans drug Gulliver while he is eating so they can move him to the church - satiric - fighting over religion
  • Redrasol explains quarrels to Gulliver and warns him about what the court plans to do with him
  • Gulliver is kept inside the church as if he is a big elephant - goes out to the end of his chain, as if he were a dog - Swift exaggerates our animalistic characteristics to us make us disgusted with being human
  • Swift has nasty things to say about women throughout Gulliver’s - misogyny and misanthropy
  • his works make you not proud to be a human
  • Gulliver is accused of flirtations with some of the court officials’ wives - disproportionate and gross
  • Gulliver is convinced to wade across the water to the Blafustus (France) to bring their fleet to Lilliput (Britain) and dispose of the people - he will not do it because he is too kind
  • because he consumes too much, the Lilliputans plan to kill him off by slowly starving him
  • progression of uncertainty to complete madness - satirizes Gulliver at the end
  • progression of animalistic behavior and brutality
  • being servile to the emperor, breaking the eggs, high heels and low heels (tories and whigs)
  • with the Brobdingnads, Gulliver is now the small, morally little one
  • the Brobdingnad king is horrified at the thought of all the animalistic tendencies of Gulliver’s nation
  • the king realizes Gulliver has left things out and hates it
  • Swift is famous for his lists of things - comic exaggerations
  • satire of priests, counselors, lawyers, etc.
  • last line of Brobdingnads insults human race - Gulliver is tortured in this book
  • people are insects
  • Gulliver tries to defend his country
  • Brobdingnads are not all great - a girl finds Gulliver and gives him to her father who exploits Gulliver for money and keeps him prisoner in a doll house
  • when Gulliver begins to wear out and get sick, he is sold to Brobdingnadian queen
  • at the end of Book II, the little girl takes Gulliver to the seashore and Gulliver is dropped into the ocean by an eagle 
  • Europeans see Gulliver in the doll house, rescue him and take him home
  • Gulliver is bored and goes to a series of islands
  • the island of Laputa - women’s husbands pay no attention to them and to get their husband’s attention, the men’s ears must be flapped
  • the island floats above another island that the women climb down to to visit the men below
  • Swift satirizes a number of projectors who are looking to make changes
  • island of Strood Broogs - people are immortal on this island - satirizes instinctive hopes and beliefs
  • there is sometimes a baby born with a mark on his head, signifying his immortality
  • you would keep aging and aging and aging and as you aged, you got more decrepit 
  • Book IV is the most satirical of human reason
  • Gulliver arrives in the land of the Winnoms - reasonable horses who are so reasonable they do not feel any emotions
  • surprised Gulliver can talk because the horses have slaves who are less-developed human beings called yahoos
  • Gulliver is essentially a yahoo and makes sure he never takes off his clothes in front of them
  • he is able to cook oatmeal and drink mare’s milk
  • eventually, Gulliver is attacked by female yahoos one day while he is bathing - misogyny
  • Gulliver is enamored with this society
  • Winnoms believe yahoos came about by a sort of mock-Genesis story
  • they are so rational they lack feelings - everything is very planned and they have countless theories
  • racism of horses - mate according to color
  • Winnoms decide Gulliver is dangerous and want him to leave because he is an educated yahoo ad might lead the yahoos in rebellion
  • Gulliver leaves in a canoe and sees a European ship - he paddles away furiously to keep from being rescued by the ship
  • he lands on an island of savages and the savages immediately attack him - he would rather be attacked than brought back to Europe
  • the ship goes after him and the captain sees Gulliver has lost his mind - he tries to reason with Gulliver and brings him back to his family
  • Gulliver goes to live in the stables with his horses because he cannot stand the smell of humans
  • Swift’s satire is Juvenalian and extremely harsh

“Modest Proposal”

  • narrator has come up with a “great idea”
  • it cannot be right
  • real proposal is given in italics - do not talk about those plans unless you are willing to carry them out
  • saw the Irish as servile and too willing to cooperate - crass landowners
  • Ireland is a cash cow
  • rich Irish live pretentiously and exploit others
  • Ireland had a lot of food but it is being exported - not available to poor
  • eating of babies - got the idea from the Americans
  • a problem with adolescents - too many - boys are not yummy, girls breed
  • sold girl in roasts to a lady in Formosa
  • animosity against women - frivolous and wasteful

Burren House, Ireland

Right now, I feel like cliff diving.

A Rَisيn nل bيodh brَn ort fé’r éirigh dhuit
[Little Rose, be not sad for all that hath behapped thee]

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