Tag Archives: Jonathan Swift

Dying of a Broken Heart

Two 18th century items: Henry Fielding believed that it was possible to die from a broken heart, which some speculate explains actress Debbie Reynolds’s death after her daughter Carrie Fisher died. And prankster Jonathan Swift has a characteristic list of New Year’s resolutions.

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If Swift Had Known Donald Trump…

Jonathan Swift would have had a field day with Donald Trump. I suspect I’ll say this often in the upcoming years.

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Jon Stewart Resembled Jonathan Swift

Jon Stewart stepped down from “The Daily Show” just over a year ago. At the time, he was our Jonathan Swift and, like Swift, he was not afraid to satirize satire itself when it became too puffed up.

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The Rich Complain about Shaming

Some wealthy Americans are receiving therapy to make them feel better about their riches. Swift would have something to say about this, as would F. Scott Fitzgerald and Lady Mary Wortley Montagu.

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Trump, Prince Vasili, and Pure Cynicism

Prince Vasili in “War and Peace” will say anything to come out on top. He’s a lot like Donald Trump.

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Can Lit Help Build an Egalitarian World?

Neo-Marxist literary theory calls for us to see literature as relevant to building an egalitarian society.

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Trump as Frankenstein’s Monster

What is it about Donald Trump that brings out the literary analogies? First a Salon columnist compared him to Odysseus’s Cyclops, then the New Yorker’s John Cassidy saw him as Gulliver, and most recently Rachel Maddow of MSNBC and others have compared him to Frankenstein’s monster. I’ve written about the Cyclops parallel here, but let’s take […]

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Can Lit Make the Rich More Empathetic?

With growing income disparity comes a decline in empathy. Literature can help rebuild our compassion.

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GOP Denies a Giant Problem

Faced with climate change denialism, Obama has been forced to take executive action. Jonathan Swift would understand.

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