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Jonathan Swift: the Brave Desponder

Reilly, Patrick

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ISBN 10: 0719008506 / ISBN 13: 9780719008504
Published by Manchester University Press, Oxford, 1982
Used Condition: Near Fine Hardcover
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"This brilliant and provocative survey of the whole of Swift's creative prose work ranges widely over ancient and modern literature, philosophy, politics and religion to paint an exciting picture of the author of 'the greatest "existentialist" writing ever written'." Ships same or next business day. Text block pulled away from spine head, small bumps on corners and spine ends; otherwise, free from major defect. Dust jacket protected in archival plastic cover. DJ has minor edge wear, small creases on corners. ; Large 8vo 9" - 10" tall; 287 pages. Bookseller Inventory # 59550

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Jonathan Swift: the Brave Desponder

Publisher: Manchester University Press, Oxford

Publication Date: 1982

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Near Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine

Edition: First Edition.

About this title


Jonathan Swift, argues Reilly, is a writer of crucial significance to the human beings of this century, a man who simultaneously looks back to the crises of the seventeenth century and forward, with uncanny pre­science, to the problems of the twentieth.”


Reilly presents Swift as a dauntingly modern writer of the fiercest urgency, not merely relevant but indispensable to an un­derstanding of our present predicament.” His approach is organic, with the initial def­inition of Swift’s religious-political position leading naturally to an examination of the satire against corresponding Puritan aberra­tions in Chapter Three. Similarly, the dislike of Puritan messianism shapes Swift’s pes­simistic view of history revealed in Chap­ter Four and makes fully intelligible those crucially contentious creatures, the Houyhn­hnms. Chapter Five deals with his abortive attempt to found a viable social order on the realistic’ appraisal of man he shared with Hobbes. Chapters Six and Seven, using Gulliver’s Travels as chief exhibit, concentrate on the major themes of forbidden knowledge and displacement, Swift’s sense of alienation in a fearful world. Chapter Eight attempts to synthesize the individual findings of each preceding chapter in examining the cen­tral paradoxes of his faith, his attitude to language in general and to satire in particular, and his intolerable divided consciousness.”

About the Author:

Patrick Reilly is Senior Lecturer in En­glish at the University of Glasgow, Scotland.

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