Il gruppo del livello Intermediate to Advanced del progetto Literature for you è un bel gruppo di persone che si stanno appassionando alla letteratura e alla conversazione in lingua sulla letteratura. L’incontro dedicato a Gulliver’s Travels (1726) di Jonathan Swift è stato impegnativo, in quanto il testo è ricchissimo di spunti, ma divertente e appassionante per i temi dibattuti. Qui una breve riflessione in inglese sui vari significati del testo:
To begin with Gulliver’s Travels is not a children’s book. It is often considered a funny story about weird travelling adventures, but it is a dense book about scales, shifts of perspectives, political parody and philosophical meditation. Then, it is a satire on what it is like to be human. Satire is something different from either irony or comedy, as it has to do with “the intent of shaming individuals, government or society” and it appeals “to more mature audiences”. It is also a parody of travel books, a genre which was quite popular in the XVIII century. Suffice it to say that seven years before its publication, Daniel Defoe had published his Robinson Crusoe, one of the most famous travel books of all times. Interestingly, Defoe’s book states that the individual precedes society (Crusoe manages to recreate a form of society in the presumably desert island), while Swift affirms that this is not the case (Gulliver always finds well-established forms of societies in the places he visits). That is why Swift’s book is a multilayered work that, on the surface, can be appreciated as a fascinating travel book , but reveals a lot more once you immerse yourself in it.