Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences

School of English Research Seminar

Daniel Carey (NUI Galway), Swift, Gulliver and Travel Satire

Gulliver’s Travels (1726) remains the work for which Jonathan Swift is best known, his longest and most wide-ranging satire. Among his key targets are the figure of the traveller and travel writing itself. This paper explores the long tradition of satirical attention to travel in the early modern period, from Thomas More to Rabelais, drama of the period (including the work of Shakespeare and Jonson), and the literature of advice on travel. Swift's particular preoccupations focus on the unreliability of travel accounts as a source of truth and the problematic question of the traveller's identity, disrupted by travel experience. Reconstruction of this way of thinking shows that Swift represents in many ways the culmination of a tradition which he brilliantly extends in part by hollowing out the genre of travel writing, before a decisive turn in the logic and rhetoric of travel towards the sentimental and Romantic. Daniel Carey is Director of the Moore Institute for Research in the Humanities and Social Studies at NUI Galway and a member of the Irish Research Council. He has published four books on the history of travel, including an edited volume on Les Voyages de Gulliver: mondes lointains ou mondes proches. He is general editor for the first- ever critical edition of Richard Hakluyt's Principal Navigations...of the English Nation (1598-1600), to appear in 14 volumes with Oxford University Press. The database he prepared collaboratively on early modern travel advice 1500-1850 is now online,

Category: Public Lectures and Seminars: Arts Celtic Studies and Social Sciences
Time: 3-4pm
Location: Room 2.12 O'Rahilly Building UCC
Target Audience: All Welcome
Admission Price: € Free
Contact: Clíona Ó Gallchoir
021 4903288

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