Gulliver’s Travels

I just finished reading Gulliver’s Travels using DailyLit, which emails a small, 5 minute reading, of many unpublished works, on a schedule you give it such as week days at 7 a.m. Gulliver’s Travels was split into 115 such installments.

This is a somewhat odd way of reading, but over time I got used to it. There were times when I got behind, but just let the emails stack up, until I got to them. And other times where I had a little extra time, so I’d have DailyLit send me the next in the series immediately.

I have to admit that much of the satire in the book would have been beyond me, if I had not read the Wikepedia article located here. What is somewhat interesting about that is I am now about 90% with Neal Stephonson’s nearly 3000 page story that is all about that period, including lots about the Royal Society, which apparently, one small section of GT was satiring.

At any rate, the book is an ok read. I’m sure it was much better when it was written, as many of the allusions and satires would be much more obvious.

And as alwasy, a few small bullet points that I have from the read:

  • When he was describing wine to someone from one of the countries he visited:

    “That wine was not imported among us from foreign countries to supply the want of water or other drinks, but because it was a sort of liquid which made us merry by putting us out of our senses, diverted all melancholy thoughts, begat wild extravagant imaginations in the brain, raised our hopes and banished our fears, suspended every office of reason for a time, and deprived us of the use of our limbs, till we fell into a profound sleep; although it must be confessed, that we always awaked sick and dispirited; and that the use of this liquor filled us with diseases which made our lives uncomfortable and short.

  • This one may be scary since Reece has red hair!

    It is observed, that the red haired of both sexes are more libidinous and mischievous than the rest, whom yet they much exceed in strength and activity.

  • And this from the land of Houyhnhnms, in which horses are beings of extreme reason, and Yahoo’s are a form of human in their basest form. I have to admit that I found this part of the book the strangest!

    I should here observe to the reader, that a decree of the general assembly in this country is expressed by the word hnhloayn, which signifies an exhortation, as near as I can render it; for they have no conception how a rational creature can be compelled, but only advised, or exhorted; because no person can disobey reason, without giving up his claim to be a rational creature.

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