Sign in  |  Register

The New Criterion

It operates as a refuge for a civilizing element in short supply in contemporary America: honest criticism
- The Wall Street Journal

Features

November 2013

Jonathan Swift: man of mystery

by Pat Rogers

Untangling the facts and fictions of Jonathan Swift's life


Francis Bindon,
Jonathan Swift, National Portrait Gallery, London  

When Harold Bloom got busy defining the Western canon for us some twenty years ago, his short list of the main men and women in literature included only one figure from the high eighteenth century. That was Samuel Johnson, whom Bloom later admitted he read all the time “because he is my great hero as a literary critic and I have tried to model myself upon him all my life.” No Voltaire, Diderot, or Rousseau. No Defoe, Fielding, or Sterne. And no Swift. But the s ...

This article is available to subscribers and for individual purchase

Subscribe to TNC (Print and Online editions)

Subscribe to TNC (Online only)

Purchase article credit and clip this article

If you already have an account login first

Pat Rogers is the author of Johnson (Past Masters), The Samuel Johnson Encylopedia, and the entry for Johnson in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.


more from this author

This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 32 November 2013, on page 10

Copyright © 2014 The New Criterion | www.newcriterion.com

http://www.newcriterion.com/articles.cfm/Jonathan-Swift--man-of-mystery-7729

E-mail to friend


The New Criterion

By the author

Clearing London's fog

by Pat Rogers

The enthralling history of eighteenth-century London.

An old-fashioned picaro

by Pat Rogers

On The Adventures of Roderick Random and Tobias Smollet.

You might also enjoy

The second assassin

by Edward Jay Epstein

Was JFK killed because America planned to assassinate Castro?

Team players

by Denis Donoghue

On Shakespeare's collaborations with other writers

All in the family

by Bruce Bawer

On the life and work of Marianne Moore

Most popular

view more >

Subscribe to our newsletter!

* indicates required

Webcasts

Introduction to The Kennedy Phenomenon
Roger Kimball introduces The Kennedy Phenomenon, a conference presented by The New Criterion on Tuesday, November 19.


The Kennedy Phenomenon: "Watching the Kennedy Train-Wreck"
Roger Kimball reads Peter Collier’s paper on oft-overlooked unsavory details of the Kennedys' lives. Much of the paper is drawn from Collier’s book, coauthored with David Horowitz, The Kennedys: An American Drama.


The Kennedy Phenomenon: "The Many Misjudgments of Richard Hofstadter"
Fred Siegel discusses his new book The Revolt against the Masses and the myriad oversights of the historian Richard Hofstadter.