Synopses & Reviews
In Gulliver's Travels
, the narrator represents himself as a reliable reporter of the fantastic adventures he has just experienced. But how far can we rely on a narrator who has been impersonated by someone else? The work purports to be a travel book, and describes the shipwrecked Gulliver's encounters with the inhabitants of four extraordinary places: Lilliput, Brobdingnag, Laputa, and the country of the Houyhnhnms. An extraordinarily skillful blend of fantasy and realism makes Gulliver's Travels
by turns hilarious, frightening, and profound. Swift's alter ego plays tricks on us, and our gullibility uncovers one of the world's most disturbing satires of the human condition.
The fullest, most up-to-date paperback of Gulliver's Travels currently available, this new edition contains an astute analysis of the nature of Swift's satire. It includes the changing frontispiece portraits of Gulliver that appeared in successive early editions and whose subtle changes contribute to the reader's uncertainty about the veracity of the author. A new introduction by Claude Rawson draws on the latest scholarship and considers Swift's role-playing and the relationship of the author to Gulliver.
George Orwell considered Gulliver's Travels among the six most indispensable books in world literature. Recognized as a masterpiece since it first appeared in 1726, Swift's tale of a seaman's adventures is a brilliant, biting piece of satirical writing--aimed originally at Swift's contemporaries, but strikingly relevant to modern life and the unchanging defects of human nature. This edition is based on the 1735 edition, incorporating Swift's revisions to the earlier text.
About the Author
edited Fielding's Jonathan Wild
and is the author of God, Gulliver, and Genocide: Barbarism and the European Imagination 1492-1945
. Ian Higgins
is Senior Lecturer in English Literature, Australian National University, Canberra. Claude Rawson and Ian Higgins are General Editors of the Cambridge Edition of the Works of Jonathan Swift in 16 volumes.