Satire: Cogitators, Academics, Necromancers and Immortals

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I’ve continued my reading of Jonathan Swift’s novel, Gulliver’s Travels, and have completed the Third Part. In this part we encounter the people of Laputa, so caught up in cogitation limited to music and mathematics that they are nearly unable to function in the physical world; the people of Balnibarbi, so caught up in academics that they are impoverished for lack of pragmatism; the people of Glubbdrubdrib where necromancy allows Gulliver to discover from the dead how contorted historical accounts truly are; and finally the people of Luggnagg among whom exist the immortal Struldbruggs who reveal that immortality is not necessarily everything it is hoped to be.

Jonathan’s fiction is a journey into extremes and reveals an irreverance for each of them. All to often we idealize cognition, academics, history and immortality and Jonathan does his utmost to help us to be regrounded.

related post: The Small and the Great

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