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Jonathan Swift: man of mystery
by Pat Rogers
Untangling the facts and fictions of Jonathan Swift's life
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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 ...
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This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 32 November 2013, on page 10
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