Jonathan Swift (1667-1745)
ECTS allocation: 20
Teaching Faculty: Prof Aileen Douglas
Contact: 1 x 2 hours/week in Michaelmas term
This section of the course will consider a range of Swift's writings in poetry and prose. Seminars will explore Swift's works in relation to a number of opposed terms: Ireland/England; print/manuscript; private/public. Issues of gender, and questions of literary form, will also be foregrounded.
Introduction (lecture and discussion)
The Story of the Injured Lady (1707)
'Verses said to be Written on the Union' (1707)
'A Description of the Morning' (1709)
'A Description of a City Shower' (1710)
A Proposal for the Universal Use of Irish Manufacture (1720)
'An Excellent New Song on a Seditious Pamphlet' (1720)
The Drapier's Letters I and IV (1724-5)
'Horace, Book I, Ode xiv...paraphrased and inscribed to Ireland' (1724)
Gulliver's Travels (1726)
‘A Short View of the Present State of Ireland' (1728)
A Modest Proposal (1729)
'An Excellent New Ballad; or, The True English Dean to be Hanged for a Rape' (1731)
‘Impromptu: “Behold a proof of Irish sense”' (c. 1742)
'Stella's Birthday' (1727)
'A Beautiful Young Nymph going to Bed' (1731)
‘On the Death of Mrs. Johnson' (1727)
'Verses on the Death of Dr. Swift' (1731)
Jonathan Swift, Swift: Major Works , ed. Angus Ross and David Woolley (rev. ed. 2008).
Jonathan Swift, Gulliver's Travels , ed. Claude Rawson and Ian Higgins (2005)
Suggested Preliminary reading
On Swift and Ireland, O. W Ferguson's Jonathan Swift and Ireland (1962) is still a valuable study. Carole Fabricant's Swift's Landscape (1982; repr. 1995), and Robert
Mahony's Jonathan Swift:The Irish Identity (1995), are also significant works.
The Cambridge Companion to Jonathan Swift (2003), edited by Christopher Fox is a good place to orient oneself in relation to Swift criticism, as are the essays in Locating Swift , ed. Aileen Douglas, Patrick Kelly and Ian Campbell Ross (1998).
The standard biography of Swift is Irvin Ehrenpreis, Swift: The Man, His Works and the Age , 3 vols. (1962-83). David Nokes, David, Jonathan Swift: A Hypocrite Reversed (1985) is a very readable single-volume biography, as is Leo Damrosch, Jonathan Swift: His Life and his World (2013). For those unfamiliar with Swift and eighteenth-century Ireland, Joseph McMinn's Jonathan Swift: A Literary Life (1991) is a lively and accessible introduction.
Members of the seminar are encouraged to begin their reading of primary texts in advance of the first class meeting. A detailed bibliography will be distributed at the beginning of the course.
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