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Gulliver's Travels (Dover Thrift Editions) (edition 1996)

by Jonathan Swift

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Member:olgunm
Title:Gulliver's Travels (Dover Thrift Editions)
Authors:Jonathan Swift
Info:Dover Publications (1996), Edition: Unabridged, Paperback, 240 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
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Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift

  1. 91
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English (130)  Dutch (4)  French (3)  Portuguese (2)  Spanish (2)  Italian (2)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  German (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Swedish (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (148)
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Students can use this story to create a visual accompaniment to what they felt was the most unusual, exciting, scary, weird moment in Gulliver's travels. There depiction will identify how well they were able to recount events in the story and show their attention to detail. ( )
  Isaacwinton | Apr 26, 2016 |
read it as a child and as an adult - have not seen the movie with Jack Black
  frahealee | Apr 3, 2016 |
Very exiting for me as a kid.Cannot tell you more.
  Marlene-NL | Mar 12, 2016 |
The book presents itself as a simple traveller's narrative with the disingenuous title Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World, its authorship assigned only to "Lemuel Gulliver, first a surgeon, then a captain of several ships". Different editions contain different versions of the prefatory material which are basically the same as forewords in modern books. The book proper then is divided into four parts, which are as follows.


[edit] Part I: A Voyage to Lilliput

Mural depicting Gulliver surrounded by citizens of Lilliput.May 4, 1699 — April 13, 1702

The book begins with a short preamble in which Gulliver, in the style of books of the time, gives a brief outline of his life and history prior to his voyages. He enjoys travelling, although it is that love of travel that is his downfall.

On his first voyage, Gulliver is washed ashore after a shipwreck and awakes to find himself a prisoner of a race of people one-twelfth the size of normal human beings (6 inches/15cm tall), who are inhabitants of the neighbouring and rival countries of Lilliput and Blefuscu. After giving assurances of his good behaviour, he is given a residence in Lilliput and becomes a favourite of the court. From there, the book follows Gulliver's observations on the Court of Lilliput, which is intended to satirize the court of George I (King of England at the time of the writing of the Travels). Gulliver assists the Lilliputians to subdue their neighbours the Blefuscudians (by stealing their fleet). However, he refuses to reduce the country to a province of Lilliput, displeasing the King and the court. Gulliver is charged with treason and sentenced to be blinded. With the assistance of a kind friend, Gulliver escapes to Blefuscu, where he spots and retrieves an abandoned boat and sails out to be rescued by a passing ship which takes him back home.


[edit] Part II: A Voyage to Brobdingnag

Gulliver Exhibited to the Brobdingnag Farmer by Richard RedgraveJune 20, 1702 — June 3, 1706

When the sailing ship Adventure is steered off course by storms and forced to go in to land for want of fresh water, Gulliver is abandoned by his companions and found by a farmer who is 72 feet (22 m) tall (the scale of Lilliput is approximately 1:12; of Brobdingnag 12:1, judging from Gulliver estimating a man's step being 10 yards (9.1 m)). He brings Gulliver home and his extremely smart and strong daughter cares for Gulliver. The farmer treats him as a curiosity and exhibits him for money. The word gets out and the Queen of Brobdingnag wants to see the show. She loves Gulliver and he is then bought by her and kept as a favourite at court.

Since Gulliver is too small to use their huge chairs, beds, knives and forks, the queen commissions a small house to be built for Gulliver so that he can be carried around in it. This box is referred to as his travelling box. In between small adventures such as fighting giant wasps and being carried to the roof by a monkey, he discusses the state of Europe with the King, who is not impressed. On a trip to the seaside, his "travelling box" is seized by a giant eagle which drops Gulliver and his box right into the sea where he is picked up by some sailors, who return him to England.


[edit] Part III: A Voyage to Laputa
August 5, 1706 — April 16, 1710

After Gulliver's ship is attacked by pirates, he is marooned near a desolate rocky island, near India. Fortunately he is rescued by the flying island of Laputa, a kingdom devoted to the arts of music and mathematics but utterly unable to use these for practical ends. The device described simply as The Engine is possibly the first literary description in history of something resembling a computer. Laputa's method of throwing rocks at rebellious surface cities also seems the first time that aerial bombardment was conceived as a method of warfare. While there, he tours the country as the guest of a low-ranking courtier and sees the ruin brought about by blind pursuit of science without practical results in a satire on the Royal Society and its experiments. He travels to a magician's dwelling and discusses history with the ghosts of historical figures, the most obvious restatement of the "ancients versus moderns" theme in the book. He also encounters the struldbrugs, unfortunates who are immortal, but not forever young, but rather forever old, complete with the infirmities of old age. Gulliver is then taken to Balnibarbi to await a Dutch trader who can take him on to Japan.The trip is otherwise reasonably free of incident and Gulliver returns home, determined to stay there for the rest of his days.


[edit] Part IV: A Voyage to the Country of the Houyhnhnms
September 7, 1710 – July 2, 1715

Despite his earlier intention of remaining at home, Gulliver returns to sea as a captain. On this voyage he is forced to find new additions to his crew who he believes to have turned the rest of the crew against him. His crew then mutiny and after keeping him contained for some time resolve to leave him on the first piece of land they come across and continue on as pirates. He is abandoned in a landing boat and comes first upon a race of (apparently) hideous deformed creatures to which he conceives a violent antipathy. Shortly thereafter he meets a horse and comes to understand that the horses (in their language Houyhnhnm or "the perfection of nature") are the rulers and the deformed creatures ("Yahoos") are human beings in their base form. Gulliver becomes a member of the horse's household, and comes to both admire and emulate the Houyhnhnms and their lifestyle, rejecting humans as merely Yahoos endowed with some semblance of reason which they only use to exacerbate and add to the vices Nature gave them. However, an Assembly of the Houyhnhnms rules that Gulliver, a Yahoo with some semblance of reason, is a danger to their civilization and he is expelled. He is then rescued, against his will, by a Portuguese ship, and is surprised to see that the captain, a Yahoo, is a wise, courteous and generous person. He returns to his home in England. However, he is unable to reconcile himself to living among Yahoos; he becomes a recluse, remaining in his house, largely avoiding his family and his wife, and spending several hours a day speaking with the horses in his stables.


[edit] Composition and history
It is uncertain exactly when Swift started writing Gulliver's Travels, but some sources suggest as early as 1713 when Swift, Gay, Pope, Arbuthnott and others formed the Scriblerus Club, with the aim of satirising then-popular literary genres. Swift, runs the theory, was charged with writing the memoirs of the club's imaginary author, Martinus Scriblerus. It is known from Swift's correspondence that the composition proper began in 1720 with the mirror-themed parts I and II written first, Part IV next in 1723 and Part III written in 1724, but amendments were made even while Swift was writing Drapier's Letters. By August 1725 the book was completed, and as Gulliver's Travels was a transparently anti-Whig satire it is likely that Swift had the manuscript copied so his handwriting could not be used as evidence if a prosecution should arise (as had happened in the case of some of his Irish pamphlets). In March 1726 Swift travelled to London to have his work published; the manuscript was secretly delivered to the publisher Benjamin Motte, who used five printing houses to speed production and avoid piracy.[2] Motte, recognising a bestseller but fearing prosecution, simply cut or altered the worst offending passages (such as the descriptions of the court contests in Lilliput or the rebellion of Lindalino), added some material in defence of Queen Anne to book II, and published it anyway. The first edition was released in two volumes on October 26, 1726, priced 8s. 6d. The book was an instant sensation and sold out its first run in less than a week.

Motte published Gulliver's Travels anonymously and, as was often the way with fashionable works, several follow-ups (Memoirs of the Court of Lilliput), parodies (Two Lilliputian Odes, The first on the Famous Engine With Which Captain Gulliver extinguish'd the Palace Fire...) and "keys" (Gulliver Decipher'd and Lemuel Gulliver's Travels into Several Remote Regions of the World Compendiously Methodiz'd, the second by Edmund Curll who had similarly written a "key" to Swift's Tale of a Tub in 1705) were produced over the next few years. These were mostly printed anonymously (or occasionally pseudonymously) and were quickly forgotten. Swift had nothing to do with any of these and specifically disavowed them in Faulkner's edition of 1735. However, Swift's friend Alexander Pope wrote a set of five Verses on Gulliver's Travels which Swift liked so much that he added them to the second edition of the book, though they are not nowadays generally included.


[edit] Faulkner's 1735 edition
In 1735 an Irish publisher, George Faulkner, printed a complete set of Swift's works to date, Volume III of which was Gulliver's Travels. As revealed in Faulkner's "Advertisement to the Reader", Faulkner had access to an annotated copy of Motte's work by "a friend of the author" (generally believed to be Swift's friend Charles Ford) which reproduced most of the manuscript free of Motte's amendments, the original manuscript having been destroyed. It is also believed that Swift at least reviewed proofs of Faulkner's edition before printing but this cannot be proven. Generally, this is regarded as the editio princeps of Gulliver's Travels with one small exception, discussed below.

This edition had an added piece by Swift, A letter from Capt. Gulliver to his Cousin Sympson which complained of Motte's alterations to the original text, saying he had so much altered it that "I do hardly know mine own work" and repudiating all of Motte's changes as well as all the keys, libels, parodies, second parts and continuations that had appeared in the intervening years. This letter now forms part of many standard texts.


[edit] Lindalino
The short (five paragraph) episode in Part III, telling of the rebellion of the surface city of Lindalino against the flying island of Laputa, was an obvious allegory to the affair of Drapier's Letters of which Swift was proud. Lindalino represented Dublin and the impositions of Laputa represented the British imposition of William Wood's poor-quality copper currency. For uncertain reasons Faulkner had omitted this passage, either because of political sensitivities raised by being an Irish publisher printing an anti-English satire or possibly because the text he worked from didn't include the passage. It wasn't until 1899 that the passage was finally included in a new edition of the Collected Works. Modern editions thus derive from the Faulkner edition with the inclusion of this 1899 addendum.

Isaac Asimov notes in The Annotated Gulliver that Lindalino is composed of double lins; hence, Dublin.


[edit] Major themes
Gulliver's Travels has been the recipient of several designations: from Menippean satire to a children's story, from proto-Science Fiction to a forerunner of the modern novel. Possibly one of the reasons for the book's classic status is that it can be seen as many things to many different people. Broadly, the book has three themes:

a satirical view of the state of European government, and of petty differences between religions.
an inquiry into whether men are inherently corrupt or whether they become corrupted.
a restatement of the older "ancients versus moderns" controversy previously addressed by Swift in The Battle of the Books.
In terms of storytelling and construction the parts follow a pattern:

The causes of Gulliver's misadventures become more malignant as time goes on - he is first shipwrecked, then abandoned, then attacked by strangers, then attacked by his own crew.
Gulliver's attitude hardens as the book progresses — he is genuinely surprised by the viciousness and politicking of the Lilliputians but finds the behaviour of the Yahoos in the fourth part reflective of the behaviour of people.
Each part is the reverse of the preceding part — Gulliver is big/small/sensible/ignorant, the countries are complex/simple/scientific/natural, forms of Government are worse/better/worse/better than England's.
Gulliver's view between parts contrasts with its other coinciding part — Gulliver sees the tiny Lilliputians as being vicious and unscrupulous, and then the king of Brobdingnag sees Europe in exactly the same light. Gulliver sees the Laputians as unreasonable, and Gulliver's Houyhnhnm master sees humanity as equally so.
Jonathan Swift wanted to contrast Lilliput and England by representing the Lilliputian government in a sort of utopian light. A Utopia is a society that has overcome violence and war. Although Lilliput does have conflicts throughout the story, their methods of dealing with the situations are based on common morality, based on human rights. Swift was contrasting that to semi-utopian aspects of England at the time, meaning that the people of England were kept unaware to their humans rights.
No form of government is ideal — the simplistic Brobdingnagians enjoy public executions and have streets infested with beggars, the honest and upright Houyhnhnms who have no word for lying are happy to suppress the true nature of Gulliver as a Yahoo and equally unconcerned about his reaction to being expelled.
Specific individuals may be good even where the race is bad — Gulliver finds a friend in each of his travels and, despite Gulliver's rejection of and horror toward all Yahoos, is treated very well by the Portuguese captain, Don Pedro, who returns him to England at the novel's end.
  bostonwendym | Mar 3, 2016 |
I feel I am doing Swift's novel an injustice by giving it only three stars, as it is for the most part a rather splendid early work of high fantasy and biting political satire. The reason for the somewhat lower rating is due to the way Swift chose to describe certain things about the fantastical lands which Gulliver visited. The satirical aspect of this novel is very evident and at times incredibly funny if you know your history, but certain parts of the novel in which Gulliver is relating facts about Britain to the people he comes into contact with can come across as very dry and boring, with Swift frequently descending into lists of things which can go on for pages and pages. The other aspect which is responsible for the lower rating is the very scientific and exacting manner in which some of the locales and customs are described, with the language occasionally becoming hard to bear and somewhat sleep inducing in these particular cases. I am aware that the aforementioned issues are simply markers which firmly establish Gulliver as a novel of the enlightenment, and my displeasure at these points makes me feel fortunate indeed that the romantics largely put an end to such dry writing. These small grievances do not however detract from 'Gulliver's Travels' being an important and influential work of fiction and political satire, and it is still most certainly worth reading; just be aware that the use of language can sometimes become a tad uninspired. ( )
  hickey92 | Jan 24, 2016 |
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Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels: Reviewing a Classic in a Modern Context
 

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Swift, Jonathanprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Becker, May LambertonIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Blankensteyn, C. vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Christian, AntonIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
D'Amico, MasolinoEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
DeMaria, Robert, Jr.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dettore, UgoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Formichi, CarloTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Geismar, MaxwellIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Grandville, JeanIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hollo, J. A.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kottenkamp, FranzTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mehl, DieterAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nimwegen, Arjaan vanAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nimwegen, Arjaan vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pirè, LucianaEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Powers, R.M.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schuenke, ChristaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Turner, PaulEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Weisgard, LeonardIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Winter, MiloIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0141439491, Paperback)

Shipwrecked castaway Lemuel Gulliver’s encounters with the petty, diminutive Lilliputians, the crude giants of Brobdingnag, the abstracted scientists of Laputa, the philosophical Houyhnhnms, and the brutish Yahoos give him new, bitter insights into human behavior. Swift’s fantastic and subversive book remains supremely relevant in our own age of distortion, hypocrisy, and irony.


@LittleBigMan Awoke in an unfamiliar land. The boat and my crew are gone. Oh dear, the people here are very small. Oops. Sorry about that.

I don’t mean to boast; I’m not a terribly tall man. But these people of Lilliput are the size of child’s Johnson. Still, they have captured me.

I have become a great favorite of the Lilliputian court, whose antics are like an adorable tiny version King George’s, the blithering idiot.

From Twitterature: The World's Greatest Books in Twenty Tweets or Less

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:02:19 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

The unusual voyages of Englishman Lemuel Gulliver carry him to such strange locales as Lilliput, where the inhabitants are six inches tall; Brobdingnag, a land of giants; an island of sorcerers; and a nation ruled by horses.

(summary from another edition)

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