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Chapter 9 - Critical Reception after 1900

from Part II - Publishing History and Legacy

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 May 2024

Joseph Hone
Affiliation:
University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Pat Rogers
Affiliation:
University of South Florida
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Summary

This chapter explores Swift’s reception during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. In the early twentieth century, Swift was reinterpreted as a proleptic modernist, complete with convoluted personal life and affinity for marginal spaces. But as the century wore on, his writings were often enlisted to express covert criticism of authoritarian regimes. This chapter is divided into five sections. The first looks at the various editions and biographies of Swift that have appeared since 1900, and the critical controversies that have risen from these scholarly projects. The second section charts the fluctuating reception of Swift’s writings on Ireland. The third provides an overview of recent work on Swift’s engagement with eighteenth-century science and medicine. The fourth focuses on gender and sexuality. And the fifth and final section explores Swift’s afterlives and future directions in Swift scholarship.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2024

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