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Swift's Parody

Swift's Parody

by Robert Phiddian


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Jonathan Swift's prose has been discussed extensively as satire, but its major structural element, parody, has not received the attention it deserves. Focusing mainly on works before 1714, and especially on A Tale of a Tub, this study explores Swift's writing primarily as parody. Robert Phiddian follows the constructions and deconstructions of textual authority through the texts on cultural-historical, biographical, and literary-theoretical levels. The historical interest lies in the occasions of the parodies: in their relations with the texts and discourses which they quote and distort, and in the way this process reflects on the generation of cultural authority in late Stuart England. The biographical interest lies in a new way of viewing Swift's early career as a potentially Whiggish intellectual. The theoretical and interpretative interest lies in tracing the play of language and irony through parody.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780521024778
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 03/16/2006
Series: Cambridge Studies in Eighteenth-Century English Literature and Thought , #26
Pages: 236
Product dimensions: 6.02(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.59(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments; Introduction; 1. Theoretical orientations; 2. Restoration enterprises and their rhetorics; 3. Parody and play of stigma in pamphlet warfare; 4. The problem of anarchic parody: An Argument against Abolishing Christianity; 5. Authority and author: the disappearing centre in Swiftian parody; 6. Entrance to A Tale of a Tub; 7. A Tale of a Tub as an orphaned text; 8. A Tale of a Tub as Swift's own illegitimate issue; Conclusion: Parodic disguise and the negotiability of A Tale of a Tub; Select bibliography; Index.

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