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Gulliver's Travels

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A wickedly clever satire uses comic inversions to offer telling insights into the nature of man and society. Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read.

Gulliver's Travels describes the four voyages of Lemuel Gulliver, a ship's surgeon. In Lilliput he discovers a world in miniature; towering over the people and their city, he is able to view their society from the viewpoint of a god. However, in Brobdingnag, a land of giants, tiny Gulliver himself comes under observation, exhibited as a curiosity at markets and fairs. In Laputa, a flying island, he encounters a society of speculators and projectors who have lost all grip on everyday reality; while they plan and calculate, their country lies in ruins. Gulliver's final voyage takes him to the land of the Houyhnhnms, gentle horses whom he quickly comes to admire - in contrast to the Yahoos, filthy bestial creatures who bear a disturbing resemblance to humans. This text, based on the first edition of 1726, reproduces all the original illustrations and includes an introduction by Robert Demaria, Jr, which discusses the ways Gulliver's Travels has been interpreted since its first publication. Jonathan Swift (1667-1745) was born in Dublin.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

306 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1726

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About the author

Jonathan Swift

3,007 books1,779 followers
Jonathan Swift was an Anglo-Irish satirist, essayist, political pamphleteer (first for Whigs then for Tories), and poet, famous for works like Gulliver's Travels, A Modest Proposal, A Journal to Stella, The Drapier's Letters, The Battle of the Books, and A Tale of a Tub. Swift is probably the foremost prose satirist in the English language, and is less well known for his poetry. Swift published all of his works under pseudonyms — such as Lemuel Gulliver, Isaac Bickerstaff, M.B. Drapier — or anonymously. He is also known for being a master of two styles of satire; the Horatian and Juvenalian styles.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 7,215 reviews
Profile Image for Stephen.
1,516 reviews11.2k followers
January 31, 2012
Let’s face it….
Jonathan Swift was a snarky, snarky bitch.

Gulliver’s Travels is like a giant pimp slap across the human race face and I am so glad I finally read this in a non-school, non-structured environment because I had a whole lot more fun with it this time around. Swift’s wit, insight and delivery are often, though not always, remarkable and he crams more well thought out jabs and toe-steppings in this slim 250 page novel than I would have thought possible in a work twice this long.  
This is certainly a classic that I believe people should read and experience for themselves outside of any required scholarly endeavors because I think that many of the ills, injustices and idiocies that Swift addresses in this novel are still, unfortunately, very relevant today. While Swift is short on resolutions or ideas for improvement (one of my disappointments) he does a marvelous job of exposing the problems that he perceived as existing within the 18th Century world, most particularly England, and opening the door for a more expansive, popular discussion on these issues.

Kudos for that, Mr Swift. 
From a plot perspective, Gulliver’s Travels is a series of adventures by Lemuel Gulliver to various undiscovered, fictional worlds that act as a backdrop for Swift, through his main character/mouthpiece, to scathe, rebuke, poke fun at and/or question all manner of political, religious  and social institutions, philosophies and groups. Everything from blind adherence to political ideologies or religious dogma, to ideological intolerance, to arbitrary social divisions and even the non-practical aspects of the rampant scientific explorations so in vogue at the time. Few groups were spared from Swift's caustic lens and many of his attacks are vehement bordering on brutal. 

Good. That is how such a work should be IMHO. 
Overall, I thought this was very worthwhile and many of Swift’s commentaries were piercing,  brilliant and exceptionally well done. Some of my personal favorites include: 
** Parodying the massive waste of energy and resources expended in political infighting in Great Britain between the Whigs and Tories by having the two Lilliputian political parties separated solely by the aesthetic choice between wearing high heels and low heels. I can only imagine how this parody played out among the MP of England at the time. 
** Making light of the tremendous importance placed on seemingly trivial differences in religious doctrine that often lead to the most acrimonious wars and civil strife by explaining that the genesis of a long and bloody war between rival factions of Lilliputians stems from a disagreement over where to crack eggs. One group break their eggs on the small end (Small Endians) and the other break their eggs on the large end (Big Endians). What I found most clever about this attack was the use of an ambiguous reference in each side's “holy book” that states, “all true believers break their eggs at the convenient end.” That is just about perfect satire Mr. Swift.
** A biting jab at traditions and customs that people cling to long after there is no practical reason to do so is eloquently made when Gulliver describes the Lilliputians custom of burying their dead head first.
They bury their dead with their heads directly downwards, because they hold an opinion that in eleven thousand moons they are all to rise again, in which period the earth (which they conceive to be flat) will turn upside down, and by this means they shall, at their resurrection, be found ready standing on their feet. The learned among them confess the absurdity of this doctrine, but the practice still continues, in compliance to the vulgar.
When Swift is on his game, he is very, very effective.

** A wonderful anti-war statement is made through the horror and disgust with which the King of the giant Brobdingnagians (their size depicted as representing moral superiority) reacts to Gulliver’s description of gunpowder and his offer to teach the Brobdingnagians the formula for producing it:
I told him of ‘an invention, discovered between three and four hundred years ago, to make a certain powder…[t]hat a proper quantity of this powder…would drive a ball of iron or lead, with such violence and speed, as nothing was able to sustain its force. That the largest balls thus discharged, would not only destroy whole ranks of an army at once, but batter the strongest walls to the ground, sink down ships, with a thousand men in each, to the bottom of the sea, and when linked together by a chain, would cut through masts and rigging, divide hundreds of bodies in the middle, and lay all waste before them. That we often put this powder into large hollow balls of iron, and discharged them by an engine into some city we were besieging, which would rip up the pavements, tear the houses to pieces, burst and throw splinters on every side, dashing out the brains of all who came near…
...The king was struck with horror at the description I had given of those terrible engines, and the proposal I had made. ‘He was amazed, how so impotent and groveling an insect as I…could entertain such inhuman ideas, and in so familiar a manner, as to appear wholly unmoved at all the scenes of blood and desolation which I had painted as the common effects of those destructive machines; whereof,’ he said, ‘some evil genius, enemy to mankind, must have been the first contriver.’ As for himself, he protested, that although few things delighted him so much as new discoveries in art or in nature, yet he would rather lose half his kingdom, than be privy to such a secret; which he commanded me, as I valued any life, never to mention any more.
Sorry for the long quote, but I thought that was a particularly moving passage.
** My personal favorite (purely from an enjoyment standpoint) is the depiction of the scientifically adept and common-senseless Laputans  who exemplify Swift’s serious gripe against scientific research that doesn’t have a practical and foreseeable benefit to society.
The first man I saw was of a meagre aspect, with sooty hands and face…[H]e has been eight years upon a project for extracting sunbeams out of cucumbers, which were to be put in phials hermetically sealed, and let out to warm the air in raw inclement summers. He told me, he did not doubt, that, in eight years more, he should be able to supply the governor’s gardens with sunshine, at a reasonable rate….
Gulliver’s exploration of the scientific academy of Laputa was my favorite part of the novel and I thought Swift’s satiric chops were at there sharpest in relaying the societal dysfunction of the Laputans. 
Now I must drop some ice in the bath water. 

As much as there was to enjoy in this work, I was not as blown away by it as I would have liked to have been. For one thing, I thought that Swift’s prose was merely serviceable and I didn’t find much in the way of eloquence in his delivery. It was missing the ear-pleasing lyrical quality that I have come to expect when reading classic literature. The writing wasn’t bad by any means but it wasn’t as enjoyable or memorable as I had hoped. This may be an unfair critique given that this book’s legacy lies with its content, but the lack of beautiful prose kept me from being able to enjoy the interludes and non-meaty passages of the work.   
Also, some of Swift’s critiques fell a bit flat and didn't resonate with me as much as those mentioned above. For instance, the recasting of famous historical figures like Alexander, Hannibal and Caesar as being more subject to the moral frailties of the human animal than the established texts would have us believe. Swift uses this as the springboard to discuss the less than wholesome practices of securing political power today and that is a good thing. I just found the use of the legends of antiquity unnecessary and not particularly effective. That’s probably a personal bias of mine as I have always found those figures fascinating to read about.   
Here's my biggest problem. One of the principal arguments that Swift makes in his novel is that balance and moderation are the keys to success both individually and as a people. Extremes of behavior and belief are the seeds from which disastrous consequences are born, according to Swift. That’s easy to say and it has an attractive ring to it, but I wish Swift had done a little more with it. This walkmy right into my biggest complaint about the story…the ending.
I thought that the ambiguity of Gulliver’s condition at the end of the novel was a bit of a cop out. It appears as though the reader is left to determine whether Gulliver was (1) a man disgusted with humanity as a result of his exposure to the morally righteous and logically rational Houyhnhnm or (2) a man whose ill-conceived and intemperate worship of, and infatuation with the Houyhnhnm made him just another unbalanced yahoo whose loss of perspective and left him deranged.  
Part of the answer of this would stem from determining whether Swift was holding up the Houyhnhnms as a model to follow or whether their own passionless adherence to logic was itself a subject of parody. However, as with the end, I think Swift was less than certain of his position (or of the position he wanted to state) and thus left too much ambiguity to the reader.
Now I understand that often these kinds of soft endings are perfect as they allow the reader to interpret the work for themselves. However, here where Swift has been bludgeoning the reader with his opinions throughout the entire work, to suddenly punt and not clearly express a case for his protagonist seems to be a miss.
That said, I am the first to acknowledge that it is anywhere from a distinct possibility to a metaphysical certainty that the “miss” here is on my part, but that was how I saw it. I wanted Swift to wrap up and summarize the effect of the journey on Gulliver and provide a statement about what should be drawn from his experience so that a better road could be paved for using his travels to address the problems on which it shined its light.  
3.0 to 3.5 stars. Still…HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!
Profile Image for emma.
1,869 reviews54.6k followers
August 18, 2023
imagine if you lived in the 1700s and this was like...the most fun book available.

screaming and crying.

so grateful to live in a time when the only reason i read this book is because its cover is pretty, and not because i live a life of suffering and no running water and my idea of a raging good time is...this.


bottom line: this was fine, that's all.
Profile Image for Paul Bryant.
2,218 reviews9,909 followers
March 19, 2012
Okay, I didn't finish this sucker. It was poor. I was kind of shocked. I was thinking why does no one point out that this is a giant rip off of Honey I Shrunk the Kids and Honey I Blew Up the Kid? It's painfully obvious. I don't see why this Danial Defoe mope has not had his ass sued, maybe he avoided that by writing his ripoff in a long ass frankly boring olde-worlde style so that all the lawyers would fall asleep before they got their writ typed up. The other stuff that isn't Lillypoot and Borodbynag or whatever is talking horses and shit and I'm pretty sure they're in Lord of the Rings so more ripoff although I never saw that movie all the way through because it's kind of boring and also kind of gay.

ps - some real geek types have PMed me saying that Daniel Dafoe didn't write thia d it was Jonathon Swift. I mean, get a life. They're all dead right? they're like deader than dead. who cares. lol.
Profile Image for Mario the lone bookwolf.
805 reviews3,856 followers
July 7, 2023
Tiny manifestations of human social models

One of the earliest forms of satire, just as Twains Yankee and Cervantes Don Quichote, but not that good
That´s simply because Swift isn´t such a talented, solid writer as Cervantes and not as ingenious as Twain. Swift tries to

Make some clever allegories about the stupidity of imbalanced power structures
And yes, it´s witty and somewhat deep, but it´s just not really absorbing because Swift hasn´t the same intuition and talent for creative writing, leading to permanently losing focus while reading. What is interesting is the

Description of different cultures of that time
I didn´t dig that deep, but history nerds will definitively find interesting connections and be able to compare and drivel for hours. As with many century old classics, a bit of racism and discrimination can´t be kept out of the mix, but it´s modest in comparision to other works like for instance the terrible Robinson Crusoe. All in all, it´s a short, not as exhausting work as the mentioned Don Quichote and can rather be seen as an average, entertaining short story collection with one, uniting character. I´ve seen that Swift has

Written some other satirical stuff
That hugely varies in quality and thereby
ratings. Sadly it´s kind of tricky to choose the good ones, but no matter how good or bad the stuff is, it shows the immense power of satire, the most important way to criticize and open minds. Because people don´t like being bored by proselytizing progressive forces, no matter how true, right, and good their intentions are, they prefer

Subtle subtext behind the seemingly trivial and superficial satire
That´s what the really good high class comedy does, hiding the message of being aware of the malfunctionings and grievances of societies by ridiculing the ones causing them. Swift does this far too direct in the reader´s face and kills many subtilities that way. That´s also the reason why the censors of the time immediately recognized the messages and exterminated everything that was deemed too hot and critical, reducing the old editions of the work to a children´s book after having eliminated everything that could get the rulers angry.

Because of the rarity of witty classic writing and because it´s not that long and easy to consume it´s still no bad choice for skimming and scanning action, especially if one is interested in the theory of humor and how traditions, nationalism, patriotism, sociology, etc yada yada yada, of that time worked.

Tropes show how literature is conceptualized and created and which mixture of elements makes works and genres unique:
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,564 reviews35 followers
September 23, 2021
(Book 983 from 1001 books) - Gulliver’s Travels (1736), Jonathan Swift

Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World in Four Parts by Lemuel Gulliver, First a Surgeon & then a Captain of Several Ships, Jonathan Swift

Part I: A Voyage to Lilliput.
Part II: A Voyage to Brobdingnag.
Part III: A Voyage to Laputa, Balnibarbi, Luggnagg, Glubbdubdrib and Japan.
Part IV: A Voyage to the Land of the Houyhnhnms

عنوانهای چاپ شده در ایران: «سفرنامه گالیور»؛ «سفرهای گالیور»؛ «مسافرتهای گالیور»؛ «ماجراهای گالیور»؛ نویسنده: جوناتان (جاناتان) سویفت؛ (امیرکبیر؛ بنگاه نشر و ترجمه، انتشارات علمی و فرهنگی؛ ماهی، مشهد بنگاه کتاب، مشهد باربد؛ ثالث؛ نشر نی، ) ادبیات از نویسندگان ایرلند سده 18میلادی؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: ماه ژوئن سال 1970میلادی

عنوان: سفرنامه گالیور؛ نویسنده: جاناتان سویفت؛ مترجم: منوچهر امیری؛ تهران، بنگاه نشر و ترجمه، 1335؛ در 498ص؛ چاپ دیگر علمی فرهنگی، سال1365، در 529ص؛ چاپ دیگر تهران، ماهی، 1387، در 536ص؛ شابک 9789649971839؛ موضوع داستانهای نویسندگان ایرلند - سده ی - 18م

عنوان: ماجراهای گالیور؛ نویسنده: جاناتان سویفت؛ مترجم: محمد آزاد؛ مشهد، بنگاه کتاب، 1369؛ در 155ص؛ چاپ دیگر مشهد، باربد، 1372؛

عنوان: سفرهای گالیور؛ نویسنده: جاناتان سویفت؛ مترجم: سهیل سمی؛ تهران، آبشن، 1391؛ در 380ص؛ چاپ دیگر تهران، میکان، 1393؛ شابک9786007845011؛

عنوان: سفرهای گالیور؛ نویسنده: جاناتان سویفت؛ مترجم: شیوا مقانلو؛ تهران، ثالث، 1391؛ در 195ص؛ شابک9789643807979؛

عنوان: سفرهای گالیور؛ نویسنده: جاناتان سویفت؛ مترجم: رضا روزبه؛ تهران، نشر نی، 1391؛ در 197ص؛ شابک9789641852971؛

عنوان: سفرهای گالیور (خلاصه)؛ نویسنده: جاناتان سویفت؛ مترجم: هومان قشقایی؛ تهران، امیرکبیر کتابهای طلایی، 1349؛ در 48ص؛

مترجمین و انتشارات گوناگون و بسیاری گزیده ای از کتاب را نشر داده اند؛

چاپ نخست کتاب در سال 1735میلادی، و تجدیدنظر به سال 1736میلادی، با عنوان کاملِ: «سفرهایی به برخی ممالک دورافتاده ی جهان»، در چهار بخش، نوشته ی «لموئل گالیور»؛ نخست در نقش پزشک کشتی، و سپس به‌ عنوان ناخدا؛ داستانی تخیلی نوشته ی «جاناتان سویفت» است؛

اقتباس‌های بسیار از این اثر به‌ صورت «کمیک استریپ»، «فیلم انیمیشن»، «فیلم»، «مجموعۀ تلویزیونی» و ...، شده‌ است؛ داستان، که در چهار بخش نوشته شده‌، به‌ صورت سفرنامه ی دریانوردی، به نام «ناخدا لموئل گالیور»، و از زبان خود وی بیان می‌شود؛ نسخه‌ های گوناگون، تفاوت‌های چندی با هم دارند، اما همه ی نسخه‌ ها در مواردی مشترک هستند، که بنیان نسخه‌ ی امروزیِن اثر میباشند؛ داستان به‌ شیوه ی آن روزگار، با شرح مختصری از زندگی شخصیت، و معرفی او آغاز، و با شرح سفرهای «گالیور» ادامه می‌یابد.؛

سفر به «لی‌لی‌پوت»، سرزمین مردمان پانزده سانتیمتری؛ در یکی از سفرها، کشتی توفان‌زدهٔ «گالیور» می‌شکند و امواج او را به ساحل می‌برند؛ «گالیور» بی‌هوش می‌شود و وقتی به هوش می‌آید خود را اسیر مردمانی کوچک (با متوسط قامتی حدود پانزده سانتی‌متر) که ساکن «لی‌لی‌پوت» هستند، می‌یابد؛ او مدتی در سرزمین «لی‌لی‌پوت» می‌مانَد؛ «لی‌لی‌پوتی‌ها» سال‌هاست بر سرِ شکستن تخم‌مرغ از سر یا ته، با یکی از کشورهای همسایه، اختلاف و جنگ دارند؛ پادشاه «لی‌لی‌پوتی‌ها» تصمیم می‌گیرد، در جنگی با یاری «گالیور» کشور همسایه را شکست بدهد، و چون «گالیور» مخالفت می‌کند، پادشاه دستور کور کردن او را می‌دهد؛ «گالیور» می‌گریزد، و خود را به کشور همسایه می‌رسانَد، و با یاری مردم یک کشتی می‌سازد و از راه دریا فرار می‌کند

سفر به «براب دینگ نَگ»، سرزمین مردمان غول پیکر؛ سفر دیگر «گالیور» است، بازهم کشتی «گالیور» شکسته، و او را به سواحل «براب دینگ نَگ» می‌اندازد؛ مردمان «براب دینگ نَگ» غول پیکر هستند، و «گالیور» پس از دست ‌به دست ‌گشتن، و به نمایش درآمدن، سر از قصر پادشاه درمی‌آوَرَد؛ پادشاه دستور می‌دهد جعبه ‌ای کوچک برای زندگی «گالیور» بسازند؛ «گالیور» به ‌همراه پادشاه، راهی سفری دریایی می‌شود؛ اما عقابی غول‌پیکر جعبه ی «گالیور» را میرباید، و آن را به دریا می‌اندازد

سفر به «لاپوتا» جزیره ی پرنده؛ «گالیور» دوباره در دریا سرگردان می‌شود، تا این‌که جزیره ‌ای را در حال پرواز بر بالای سرش می‌بیند؛ مردمان جزیره ی پرنده، موسوم به «لاپوتایی‌ها»، «گالیور» را بالا می‌کشند، و نجات می‌دهند؛ «لاپوتایی‌»ها مردمانی علم‌ زده هستند، که همه چیز را علمی می‌نگرند؛ آن‌ها تمام وقت، برروی موضوعات خنده دار، و بی‌فایده‌ ای همچون «تولید نور از خیار»، «ساخت بالش از سنگ مرمر»، و «تشخیص مخالفان نظام با آزمایش مدفوع افراد مشکوک»، پژوهش می‌کنند؛ با این‌همه، آن‌ها به «گالیور» امکاناتی برای ادامه ی سفر می‌دهند؛ «گالیور» هم مدت کوتاهی در «بال نیب رابی»، «لوگ ناگ»، و «گلوب دوب دریب»، به سیاحت می‌پردازد، و با اشباحی سخنگو، و مردمانی نامیرا، دیدار می‌کند؛

سفر به «هوئی‌ هِنِم»: سرانجام، «گالیور» به سرزمین «هوئی‌ هِنِم‌»ها می‌رسد؛ در آن سرزمین، اسب‌هایی باهوش، بر انسان‌هایی وحشی، حکمرانی می‌کنند؛ «گالیور»، به‌ عنوان انسانی با درجه‌ ای از فهم و هوش، از نظر اسب‌ها، برای حکمرانی‌شان بر انسان‌های وحشی، خطرناک ارزیابی می‌شود؛ بنابراین، او را بیرون می‌رانند؛ و ...؛

نخستین بار بخشی از این داستان را در کتاب درسی زبان انگلیسی سالهای دهه ی چهل هجری خورشیدی در دبیرستان خواندیم، و سپس کتاب اصلی را در بنگاه نشر و ترجمه یافتم و نوشیدم

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 24/08/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ 31/06/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Nayra.Hassan.
1,259 reviews5,630 followers
February 20, 2022
هي مجموعة صفعات متتالية على وجه البشرية جمعاء..فعندما ترفضك الجياد الناطقة بلطف..لانها اكثر منك تحضرا و رشدا..اذن فلتعد يا "جاليفر "من رحلاتك الاربعة..حزينا كسيرا

لهذه الروايات مكانة خاصة في قلبي..فهي أول رحلاتي الطويلة لعالم الفانتازيا والخيال بلا حدود..فمن خلال الترجمة الرشيقة للعبقري كامل الكيلاني..قراتها في سن العاشرة بعربية فصيحة و تشكيل. .و لم ينطفىء انبهاري
فقراتها ملخصة بالإنجليزية..ثم في نسختها الكاملة في سن 30

أحببت اهل ليليبوت الاقزام السخفاء المتمسكين بالتقاليد..و الشكليات ..و العمالقة الهمج الذين كشفوا لجاليفر غروره و ضالته. .و الفلاسفة ..السحرة. .والمخلدون التعساء

وأخيرا و رغم خياله الفلسفي الجامح ..لم يحقق سويفت..هدفه من الحرب التي شنها على الجنس البشري..نفذت طبعات كتابه..و لكن ضحك الجميع من المغامرات واعتبروها. .طرائف عن حماقات شعوب اخرى

..وهكذا رحل سويفت صامتا...و فاقدا لعقله
الأسلوب قديم و على شكل مذكرات ..و كذلك اللغة .. لذا قد يكون اسهل على البعض قراءتها مختصرة فهي تنتمي لعام 1700..و لكن الحماقات ..والانانية و الحروب ..هي هي..و ستظل كما هي
Profile Image for Tharindu Dissanayake.
288 reviews560 followers
March 7, 2022
"The rats on board carried away one of my sheep;"

"Care and vigilance, with a very common understanding, may preserve a man’s goods from thieves, but honesty has no defence against superior cunning;"

It seems that I had a completely incorrect opinion of what Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travel would be. To be fair, my prior opinion was solely based on the children's cartoon that I had watched years ago, but the book holds a shocking contrast to that easy going adaptation with a bunch of Lilliputians in every conceivable way. Okay may be the humor is still here, but this humor on human nature is coming from a more complicated level altogether.

I'm not that used to these kind of satirical proses, so it took me a while to get used to things. At first, I was a somewhat confused as to why would the author be using such a complex prose for a children's book, but it quickly became apparent that this is even beyond the average YA book. Swift's witty remarks on general human conduct alone are quite complex, and he's not holding back in conveying his observations about society at that time, even resorting to several offensive comments.

The book is a compilations of four different adventures, though, each subsection is identical in the sense that Gulliver getting shipwrecked each time to be followed by arriving at an island populated by a strange civilization and proceeding to learning their culture and languages, providing a detailed description about the inhabitants encountered using Gulliver's POV. This, in my opinion, had been done in a masterful way, not once betraying the fact that Gulliver's perspective is not authentic. However, the identical sequence of events occurring after the initial encounter does start to feel repetitive after a while, making the book more of a 3-star read. But, since all this helped me to reminisce about the time I got to watch the cartoon a long time ago, I couldn't help but add another star.

"Whoever could make two ears of corn, or two blades of grass, to grow upon a spot of ground where only one grew before, would deserve better of mankind, and do more essential service to his country, than the whole race of politicians put together."

"Truth always forces its way into rational minds,"
Profile Image for Vit Babenco.
1,466 reviews3,631 followers
March 14, 2022
Lemuel Gulliver was the first who discovered the theory of relativity: he comprehended that everything in the world is relative therefore while amongst Lilliputians he is a giant, amongst Brobdingnagians he is a midget.
Eccentricity excellently stands against the erosion of time – much better than any fashion. But it takes a genius to see everything ordinary and commonplace in a bizarre light and to make it withstand the ages.
Everyone knows how laborious the usual method is of attaining to arts and sciences; whereas by his contrivance, the most ignorant person at a reasonable charge, and with a little bodily labour, may write books in philosophy, poetry, politics, law, mathematics and theology, without the least assistance from genius or study. He then led me to the frame, about the sides whereof all his pupils stood in ranks. It was twenty foot square, placed in the middle of the room. The superficies was composed of several bits of wood, about the bigness of a die, but some larger than others. They were all linked together by slender wires. These bits of wood were covered on every square with papers pasted on them; and on these papers were written all the words of their language in their several moods, tenses, and declensions, but without any order. The professor then desired me to observe, for he was going to set his engine at work.

Rejoice, Jonathan Swift was an inventor of computer and he was the first programmer!
Profile Image for Fergus, Quondam Happy Face.
1,029 reviews17.7k followers
August 16, 2023
There are many here among us
Who think that life is but a joke.
Bob Dylan

When Gulliver first came to the light of day in the climate of a more genteel, and historically Georgian reader than those who read Pilgrim's Progress in the previous century, echoes of its hero, Christian, must have resounded through his or her mind!

This fantasy has haunted my steps and dogged my days all my life. It represents a Pilgrim's Progress for me, too - as well as for Dean Swift, being an Anglican priest - through the insalubriously and most lugubriously harrowing paysage moralisé that was my, and Swift's life.

But placed in historical context it’s a harangue against religious narrow-mindedness, liberalism, and intellectual freedom. A mixed kettle of fish!

Nevertheless, the politely Houyhnimic, and thus archly knowing Pilosopher-Kings of Georgian Britain judged Swift to be rather odd, as their modern counterparts, too, judged me. For we were both bipolar.

Just outta bounds. Beyond simple decency. A Stranger to intellectual progress. Why?

You see, when a kid first wakes up and chooses ethical behaviour, he often sees himself as catapulted into a Land of Liliputians. If he rebels, he is blacklisted by their establishment, tied to the ground with tiny inextricably knotted threads while he sleeps, and roundly excoriated by their tiny, tinnily middle-class voices.

In short, he is just too proud by a very unhealthy margin. In my case, to make matters worse, I just chuckled at them. Hence my bipolarity. I needed an outlet!

If he still is not heeled, he will then be courted and thus grossed out by the humunguously odorific Brobdingnagians. That’s his second temptation, and it is seldom met with diffidence. Gulliver, though, reacts with panic. As did I.

If still unrepentant and self-willed, his next stop will be Laputia and its surrounding archipilago of islands. For he must at least learn humility.

There he will be pegged as a danger both to himself and polite society, when he continues to value himself over others.

Refusing to recant, his final stop is the Isle of enervately intellectual Houyhmnms. Who disdain him. And rightly so, for they dwarf him in their paradoxical intelligence.

He will be be from thenceforth exiled into ignominy - up crap creek without a paddle: he is condemned to SWIM back to Ireland. Thank heaven, then, for the small mercy (a canoe) he is then afforded!

And like Gulliver, crushed, I was finally humble.

Oh, and it's not a fantasy.

It’s the enforced progress of a half-baked pilgrim, who STILL only Regresses until he learned. That was me.

John Bunyan woulda just sighed and said that’s LIFE for us Christians, as we grow in faith, pride intact at first.

If we want to be saved, we must swallow that pride. Holus bolus.

We must not live a life that is a Slaughterhouse Five -

For you MAY be saved (and maybe not, if you haven't survived the trial).

For just like Billy Pilgrim, we still have a chronically Enlarged Ego that has simply gotta go:

By letting the Lord “trample out His wine press where His Grapes of Wrath are stored.” And believe me, we all deserve it. But how.

And so we reach Heaven.

The end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive at the place we started
And know the place for the first time.
Profile Image for Lea.
119 reviews448 followers
January 24, 2022
“Undoubtedly, philosophers are in the right when they tell us that nothing is great or little otherwise than by comparison.”

Swift’s masterpiece, brilliant satire Gulliver's Travels was published in 1726. Swift lived in the 18th century, times of great societal changes when the legacy of Enlightenment culminated in French Revolution and caused a great political and cultural change. Also, European exploration of the world advanced, resulting in growing colonization of the Americas and other parts of the world. That intensified mass migrations as well as expanded the slave trade on a global scale.

The novel is dived into four parts, each describing one of Gulliver's adventures. It has an epistolary form as the narrator is Gulliver himself, Swift is laying out the events as they happened, striving to be emotionally detached and as objective as he can, without deeper reflections. Swift never breaks character, and we see the world exclusively through Gulliver’s eyes, making the narration unreliable to an extent. The language is quite similar to Robinson Crusoe's, in long, detailed descriptions, somewhat dry and preachy tone with racist and imperialist overtones, but Swift uses the form to ridicule the adventure genre of novels and break out some inappropriate jokes, with unexpected descriptions of excretory bodily functions or genitals. Swift also writes a fantastic story, that could be in parts even considered as speculative fiction. With imaginative events the narrator claims have happened, he precisely mocks those who include untrue events in their travelogues and claim them to be true. Through his satirical overtones, Swift gives a critique of colonialism and slavery, European governments, rulers and scientists, doctors and attorneys, the complete human nature.

The first Gulliver adventure is the most famous one, in the land of Lilliputians, people 15.24 centimeters tall. Here Swift highlights the human tendency to consider themselves the most important creatures despite their small size, being unaware of their insignificance in the universe. The government of Liliput is unable to make and adhere to important decisions and their ruler abuses power. Lilliputians have a heavily bureaucratic society, with absurd rules and social conventions and brutal punishments if one does not adhere to them. Their obsession with rules comes from an inflated ego, where they have to have a rigid system that will hide their insignificance. They also want to use Gulliver as a weapon in their petty wars, which shows that someone's grandiosity is a reason for calculation and exploitation by others, and Gulliver is endangered by their number and eventually accused of high treason. Their system of court and punishment is not a reflection of justice - the more innocent a man is, the heavier and more brutal is the punishment, and the absurdity of the legal system is highlighted. They have a conflict with other nation in regards to what is the best way to break an egg - on a smaller or larger end. Here Swift comments on the conflict between Catholics and Protestants - and Gulliver is not surprised by the absurdity of the conflict over breaking an egg, which shows how people are well adapted to insignificant differences causing large divisions and violence among menkind.

On the next adventure, Gulliver visits the land of Brobdingnag, a land of giants. The giants of Brobdingnag are in contrast to the Lilliputians, showing that the concept of a person's size, significance, and power differs as the world around him changes. Gulliver's dominance and grandiosity, but also vulnerability is a relative concept, dependant on the size of those around him. Gulliver here has constant anxiety and feeling of inferiority as he goes from being colossal to smallness and endangered insignificance in Brobdingnag. Residents of Brobdinagnag have a tendency towards extremes, they are prone to both greed and tenderness. Here Gulliver is being exploited again by a farmer, which shows that exploitation is a matter of opportunity, not size, social status, or wealth. The king and queen of Brobdingnag are not malevolent, and they care for Gulliver, but at the same time regard him as a funny puppet. For them, it is unimaginable that Gulliver is a complete person, a man with a homeland with history, laws, philosophy. The king is interested in Gulliver's stories but only as entertainment, mirroring the European sentiment of the time, towards foreigners and other cultures, considering them fun and interesting, but not to be taken seriously. The king also has a very narrow, limited perspective of the world - he has absolute authoritarian power, the country is isolated, they do not travel, they learn only a few subjects in education, only ones with practical significance and they are not interested in philosophy and abstract ideas. They are very bodily, sensual and sexual, prone to pleasures and celebrations, with no interest in the progress of mind or culture. Their king does not understand war or democracy, representing the peaceful but limited and isolated monarchy. After the rescue from the land of giants, Gulliver can't get used to the size of normal people and he consideres himself bigger than them.

Gulliver’s third adventure is in the land of Laputa, floating island Swifts uses for satire of scholars and scientists, philosophers, Pythagoreans, and Enlightenment. In the contrast to Brobdinagnag, in the land of Laputa mathematics and music are of the highest importance, and the importance of theory and science is taken to an extreme. Lauptans know complex geometry but are at the same unable to build proportionate houses or make a decent suit. Their theoretical knowledge is deeply impractical, they do absurd experiments that are useless or even destructive, they complicate to an obscure level that becomes counterproductive. The wise man of Laputa embodies the futility of the search for knowledge as a means to an end, without taking into account the practical and concrete world. This is a reflection of Swift’s thought that the philosophers of the Enlightenment were theoretical in their thinking to the point of obscurity. It is a critique of schools and educational institutions, societies of top intellectuals. Gulliver also goes to the land of sorcerers where he encounters the spirits of the past - Alexander the Great, Caesar, Homer, Aristotle, Descartes. Gulliver here realizes how knowledge of history is used manipulatively for someone's interest as the history he knew was full of misinterpretation and learns that all knowledge of history is subjective.

The last adventure takes Gulliver in the land of noble talking horses, Houyhnhnms. Houyhnhnms use the benefits of a rational mind combined with moral virtues, creating a country where the common good is of the greatest value. Houyhnhnms tell only truth and live without lies, injustice, corruption, class, diseases, in an atmosphere of seemingly minimal suffering and inequality. They maintain domination with physical strength and reason. Here, friendship and goodwill replace romantic love and family. The marriages are arranged for the production of specifically two children of different sexes and they exchange of children if they are of the same sex, granting absolute gender equality, but with loss of emotional connections. Houyhnhnms have no emotional experiences of love (the death of a member of society is insignificant) which gives meaning to life, they do not celebrate and do not rejoice, creating a peaceful, but somewhat cold utopia with loss of individual identity and diversity.
In this utopian society, the ideal of Enlightenment, where reason rules everything, horses rule over the Yahoos- the savage, hairy, primitive, animal-like men. Houyhnhnms reject the primal human nature reflected in Yahoos, exposing their tendency toward superiority if one looks and behaves differently, rejecting everything that is not in line with their ideal of culture and reason. Benevolence and friendship are reserved only for their kind, embodying the basic idea of colonialism. Gulliver idealizes Houyhnhnmas, and being blind to their hypocrisy and narcissism, he wants to integrate into their society. In a quest in merging with the collective, he tries to give up the human identity that makes him different, being ashamed of his similarity to Yahoos.
But Gulliver is deceived because he identifies with the horses. Houyhnhnms are a reflection of himself — his superiority he felt towards every culture he came to, but also his superiority he feels towards the European society.

Gulliver is ultimely the antihero that used the exploration of the world and different societies for making the faults of human nature visible to him, but not being aware he himself is also part of society, akin to human nature he keeps critiquing, full of flaws. Gulliver is both “gullible” and full of prejudges and false concepts. He is grandiose, egocentric, pliable, without a firm attitude, restless, adventurous, insensitive, unsympathetic, always running from everything less than ideal, even if that means running away from his pregnant wife and children. Gulliver seeks the fantom of a perfect society and rejects the dark and primal side of human nature as unworthy of love. He criticizes and mocks others but never ridicules himself and his shortcomings. It is not a great wonder that Gulliver becomes the figure of repulsion and rejection in any society - he ultimately cannot integrate even in the society of narcissistic horses he regards as ideal. Unlike Don Quixote, his illusions and prejudices remain to the end, as well as disgust of others.

Through the novel in each adventure and the culture Gulliver encounters, we see a progression of the political systems from the unjust, brutal authoritarian bureaucracy of Liliput, to benevolent but ignorant monarchy of Brobdinagnag, to leaders that value science and philosophy of Laputa, and, in the end, to land of Houyhnhnms, the society that values reason, morality and equality - the utopian society that revolutions promised in the 18th century. But even the ideal society enlightened by reason and morality dominates tribes and races that are different, the ones they decide are not decent, or cultural enough to be equal. The morally superior horses push violently against the primal part of human nature symbolically represented by Yahoos, revealing the criticism of enlighted, morally superior European societies that continue to flourish in colonialism and the exponentially growing slave trade, brutal oppression of different cultures they call “savages” in the period that is known as "century of lights" or the "century of reason". Colonization is the ultimate expression of pride and narcissism. Even worse than open tyranny, is the oppression that comes from moral superiority.

Recommended for the readers going through the literary canon, lovers of satire, misanthropes and social critics but also for narcissists who think all humans are corrupt, except themselves.
Profile Image for Leonard Gaya.
Author 1 book937 followers
October 11, 2018
Everyone remembers poor Gulliver in breeches and three-cornered hat, pinned down with cords on a beach, by an army of minute soldiers. A young boy’s nightmare, no doubt, but there is much more to this book than this rosy image, reproduced endlessly on the pediments of toy shops and theme parks. This is indeed an astonishing book.

Gulliver’s Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World presents itself as the plain and faithful account of the voyages of Lemuel Gulliver, a surgeon from Redriff and a captain of ships. The name of Jonathan Swift is omitted, as well as the fact that the whole narrative is a heap of whoppers from cover to cover. Moreover, the straight-faced narrator, fooling his “candid” reader’s credulity, concludes the books and declares that he “rather chose to relate plain Matter of Fact in the simplest Manner and Style; because my principal Design was to inform, and not to amuse thee” (IV, 12).

Swift’s novel — a masterful sham — is indeed written in the detailed and earnest manner of an ethnographic documentary. Through the four parts of this book, Gulliver first discovers the islands of Lilliput and Blefuscu, with its diminutive inhabitants, off the coast of Java (if you ever fancy going there, the narrator provides a few maps and GPS coordinates); he then sails to the West coast of America and discovers Brobdingnag, where people are, on the contrary, of gigantic proportions; later on, he travels across the Pacific Ocean and visits the flying island of Laputa (no pun intended?) and Balnibarbi, as well as the necromancers of Glubbdubdrib, the immortals of Luggnagg, and finally Japan (spot the odd one out, if you can). On his last trip, around New-Holland (aka Australia), he travels to the idyllic island of the neighing and rational Houyhnhnms and of the despicable Yahoos — the most politically loaded and, in my opinion, best part of this book. A total of seven discoveries.

Each time, Gulliver’s ship is caught in a storm and shipwrecked, he lands on a strange island, meets the inhabitants, is the host of an important figure of that country, relates a couple of toilet-humour anecdotes, learns their tongue-twisting language, describes their strange manners, laws, gastronomy and architecture, provides — to his host’s great surprise and dismay — an account of the Europeans habits and customs.

However, what makes Gulliver’s Travels one of the significant works of the early 18th century is, apart from the Irish clergyman’s zany imagination in devising fictional countries and populations, his astounding deadpan humour, tongue-in-cheek mockery, and even savage assault, against his contemporaries and human nature in general. The universal ridicule and relentless attacks aim at practically everything, in a sort of encyclopaedic undertaking: nobility titles, impractical scientific achievements and Royal Academies, philosophical jargon, the quackery of physicians, the general falsehood that runs among lawyers, the foolish wish for a long life, European politics and wars, the English constitution, Western colonialism, human grandeur (i.e. vanity) itself, and — apologies to half my Goodreads friends! — the fake gloss of women’s skin.

Some of the fiercest invectives against the human race are, of course, put in the mouths of Gulliver’s non-human hosts; for instance, the Prince of Brobdingnag: “I cannot but conclude the Bulk of your Natives, to be the most pernicious Race of little odious Vermin that Nature ever suffered to crawl upon the Surface of the Earth” (II, 6). Sometimes, Gulliver speaks for himself: “having strictly examined all the Persons of greatest Name in the Courts of Princes for an hundred Years past, I found how the World had been misled by prostitute Writers, to ascribe the greatest Exploits in War to Cowards, the Wisest Counsel to Fools, Sincerity to Flatterers, Roman Virtue to Betrayers of their Country, Piety to Atheists, Chastity to Sodomites, Truth to Informers”; adding just after that, with a magnificent irony: “I hope I may be pardoned if these Discoveries inclined me a little to abate of that profound Veneration which I am naturally apt to pay to Persons of high Rank, who ought to be treated with the utmost Respect due to their sublime Dignity, by us their Inferiors” (III, 8). However harsh and offensive these comments might sound, even today, I must confess, there is always something extraordinarily amusing and toe-curling, invigorating even, about Swift’s prose. It is, all in all, an essential book on the human condition.

Needless to say, Gulliver’s Travels it at the epicentre of a literary tradition of both adventures on sea (to which it is an obvious parody) and social satire, that goes as far back as Homer’s Odyssey, through Sindbad’s tales, the Travels of Marco Polo, Rabelais’ Gargantua and Pantagruel, Erasmus’ In Praise of Folly, Thomas More’s Utopia, Dafoe’s Robinson Crusoe, Montesquieu's Persian Letters, up to a significant part of modern literature: Voltaire’s Candide and Micromégas, James Cook’s Voyages of Discovery, Poe’s Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Wells’ Island of Dr Moreau, Orwell’s Animal Farm, and all their more recent avatars — say, The Hitchicker’s Guide to the Galaxy, to name just one book, or even Godzilla and King Kong, on the big screen.
Profile Image for Lisa.
991 reviews3,320 followers
November 8, 2017
"And he gave it for his opinion, "that whoever could make two ears of corn, or two blades of grass, to grow upon a spot of ground where only one grew before, would deserve better of mankind, and do more essential service to his country, than the whole race of politicians put together."

I don't think there will ever be a time when Gulliver's Travels doesn't feel like a perfect mirror of humankind. I remember the first time I read it, as a child. I was immeasurably impressed with the sudden insight that things are small or great depending on comparison with other things, and that there are no absolute values. That knowledge, combined with the idea that you learn to understand yourself by seeing your peculiarities through the eyes of people who do not share your social and cultural background, helped me navigate my globetrotting childhood. When I reread the Travels as a grown-up, I focused more on the political satire, finding pleasure in discovering that the typical idiocies of my own time apparently had their correspondences centuries ago. Somehow, that made life easier to bear.

But now I am beginning to wonder. Are the yahoos degenerating further? When will they hit rock bottom? And could we maybe ship off some of our worst yahoos to Lilliput, where they can claim they are great without lying?

Thank Goodness there are authors like Swift, who are capable of making humanists in despair laugh on dark November nights after reading the never-ending misery called news. Oh Lordy, I wish they were fake.

But they are likely to mirror the world - without the wit and irony that Swift added to make life endurable, enjoyable even! That is a quality in an author that is always needed, now more than ever!

Profile Image for Lori.
1,493 reviews55.8k followers
March 10, 2009
Oh man.
This book was sheer torture.

The writing was dry and bland and boring.
Swift had some really interesting ideas - An island of people no larger than your finger. Another island with people that are 60 feet tall. A floating island, an island of scientists, the island of Yahoos...but the execution was hard to appreciate.

I came very close to putting this novel down many many times.
I admit to not being a fan of early, victorian literature, but this was just painful.
Profile Image for Fernando.
685 reviews1,127 followers
December 12, 2022
"Y esta, consideré, sería la menor de mis desgracias, puesto que siendo los humanos, tal como se ha comprobado, más salvajes y crueles cuando mayor es su tamaño. ¿qué podía esperar yo que no fuera el convertirme en un simple bocado en las fauces del primero de aquellos gigantes que me atrapara?"

“Los viajes de Gulliver” es del tipo de libros que podrían agruparse con otros relatos de viajes para ser leídos en cadena, puesto que las experiencias que se narran en ellos en general son afines entre sí.
Por la naturaleza de lo que sucede en él, se pueden establecer relaciones entre éste libro y “Robinson Crusoe”, de Daniel Defoe, a partir de las experiencias de Lemuel Gulliver como náufrago en varias ocasiones, o “La isla del tesoro” de Robert Louis Stevenson e incluso por el tipo de personajes con los que Gulliver se encuentra con el libro “Alicia en el país de las maravillas” de Lewis Carroll y por qué no con aquellas novelas sobre los avances científicos escritas por Julio Verne ("Veinte mil leguas de viaje submarino"), más precisamente cuando describe la isla flotante de Laputa y también de ciertos acercamientos a aquellos libros que pertenecen a la ciencia ficción -se me ocurre "Crónicas Marcianas" de Ray Bradbury- dado que por momentos lo que Gulliver narra en cada uno de sus cuatro viajes se asemeja a visitar otro planeta, particularmente en el tercer y cuarto viaje.
Este libro es para muchos un claro ejemplo de ese género literario denominado Sátira: "Discurso o composición literaria en prosa o verso en que se critican agudamente las costumbres o vicios de alguien con intención moralizadora, lúdica o meramente burlesca.".
También podría atribuírsele el mote de novela política satírica, puesto que lo que Swift expone en él es un racconto de las distintas sociedades modernas adaptadas a extraños países, razas y seres dejando bien en claro que todos aquellos reinos que visita contienen defectos excepto el del país de los houyhnhnms, a los que declara como una raza impecable tanto por sus valores como sus virtudes y ninguna imperfección.
De todos modos, Swift siempre se las ingenia para dejar muy bien parado a su país, Inglaterra, al cual posiciona como el emblema de Europa y prácticamente como la mejor nación del mundo.
Puede entenderse esa obsesión en el autor de dejar bien en claro la supremacía británica sobre Francia, país enemistado con Inglaterra durante el siglo XVIII.
Un rasgo interesante del libro es el de la dificultad al leer los nombres propios, de países y vocabulario inventado por Swift, algo que demuestra su lúcida inteligencia.
Cito un ejemplo: en Lilliput lo llaman Quihnbus Flestrin, que significa Hombre-Montaña, mientras que en Broddingnag, su nombre es Grildrig y la niña que lo cuida se llama Glumdalclitch.
Otro detalle acerca de la lectura de este libro es que me costó mucho dimensionar las diferencias de tamaños tanto en su estadía en Lilliput como en Brobdingnag, ya que tanto el autor como los traductores utilizan el sistema de medidas que incluyen pulgadas, yardas, pies y millas. Para un lector acostumbrado al sistema métrico que utiliza milímetros, metros y kilómetros, aunque parezca un detalle tonto, el sistema del autor no ofrece una orientación clara.
Un dato pintoresco es que las diferencias de tamaños están marcadamente diferenciadas, a punto tal que cuando uno se acostumbró al tamaño gigante de Gulliver en Lilliput, le cuesta imaginarse el tamaño opuesto cuando pone un pie en el reino de Brobdingnag en donde esos tamaños se invierten durante su segundo viaje. Allí, Gulliver es un minúsculo ser humano.
Durante su tercer viaje cuando conoce losa los dominios de Laputa, Balnibarbi, Glubbdubdi y Luggnagg el lector descubre que los tamaños son iguales pero que esa raza de laputienses son prácticamente como las de verdaderos extraterrestres, "con un ojo vuelo y otro apuntando al cénit", como indica Gulliver.
Viven en un ambiente que se caracteriza por la geometría, las matemáticas y la música. Fue para mí el viaje más desconcertante, pero a su vez, debo reconocer el talento y la increíble imaginación de Jonathan Swift para crear semejantes personajes. Tengamos en cuenta que este libro fue publicado en 1726, ¡139 años antes de "Alicia en el país de las maravillas!, libro en el que Carroll despliega también una maravillosa imaginería de personajes increíbles.
Durante el cuarto viaje, en las tierra de los houyhnhnms, que son una raza de caballos con inteligencia que dominan a otros seres inferiores, en estado bruto llamados yahoos, que son muy inferiores pero a la vez muy parecidos a los humanos, algo me remite a la película "El planeta de los simios" en donde los seres humanos son esclavizados por una raza de monos dotados de una inteligencia avanzada.
En definidas cuentas, "Los viajes de Gulliver" es un libro entretenido, un tanto tedioso en algunas partes, sobre todo en aquellas donde vuelve a explicar cómo es Inglaterra a cada raza que visita; que tiene un costado verdaderamente de publicidad política y ensalzamiento de Inglaterra en detrimento de otras naciones y también expone, aunque sin denunciar, el tema de la esclavitud.
Es difícil que se sientan ofendidos por este tema, dado que es mundialmente conocido el pasado pirata y de trata de esclavos de los ingleses, aunque en el caso de su libro, Swift se saca el peso de encima echándole la culpa a los portugueses, los holandeses y los españoles.
Nuevamente destaco el poder de la imaginación de Jonathan Swift, un adelantado a su época, puesto que escribió un su libro que aún hoy tiene la vigencia intacta de los más afamados clásicos que nunca pasan de moda.
Profile Image for Kalliope.
691 reviews22 followers
March 31, 2014

Jonathan Swift (1667 – 1745) writes towards the end of his book:

...an author perfectly blameless, against whom the tribe of answerers, considerers, observers, reflecters, detecters, remarkers, will never be able to find matter for exercising their talents.

Had Swift known GR he would probably have included “reviewers” in the above sentence. This thought warns me against continuing any further with my review.

But the Travels of Gullible Gulliver (1726) have made me laugh like no other book for a long time. And I want to share this.

The introduction in my edition by Michael Foot was almost as funny. For Foot surveys the history of the reaction to Swift’s book, from its immediate huge success and popularity during the Enlightenment to the deprecating opinion shared by many, but not all (John Keats was one of the exceptions), in puritanical Victorian times. They were affronted by the shameful indecency their own minds projected onto Swift’s lines.

Some of the quotes from Victorian responses made me laugh as heartily as Swift’s words.

.. a monster, gibbering shrieks and gnashing imprecations against mankind – tearing down all shreds of modesty, past all sense of manliness and shame; filthy in word, filthy in thought, furious, raging, obscene.

His rehabilitation started during WW1, beginning with a lecture in Cambridge in 1917. Gulliver’s attacks on war and the idiocies of nationalism would have met welcoming ears in that university hall. Some rejection still lingered for a while and surprisingly both George Orwell and Aldous Huxley were highly critical of Swift.

Nowadays, many aspects of this book appeal strongly to our more cynical and detached age. What we have now is filtered by the Disney Cartoons and The Economist has chosen Gulliver as the title to its Travel Section. And of course, the company Yahoo also got its name from the most detestable of Swift’s characters.

As everyone knows this is a book about travelling. The popularity of two of its four parts and their easy refashioning into tales for children disguise the fact that the book was written as a parody of the then prevailing travel writing. If for us Travel now means consumption, then it still meant discovery. But in all discoveries there is some degree of presumptuousness. And this is what bothered Swift.

But this book is a journey in itself: Travel into Acerbity. Each part becomes more acidic and sour than the previous one. And if the Victorians found it indecent we have to admit that there is a fair amount of stripping in this book, but not of clothes. Swift is stripping human nature. For apart from the hilarious and highly creative stories, the sum of reflections on the relativity of some of our beliefs, which we hold as absolute, constitutes a fully developed treatise on us.

The Fantastic and Utopian character is disguised by Swift's framing with exact dates each of the four trips. Gulliver sets off on the 4th of May 1699 and returns from his final trip on the 5th of December 1715. May be it was this kind of specificity that made one of Swift’s contemporaries go and have a look at his Atlas to check where Lilliput was. And another adamantly denied that the whole thing could be true!!

Apart from children, some mathematicians have also been delighted by Gulliver’s adventures (demonstrable proof). The third trip, to the Land of Laputa (some knowledge of Spanish helps in understanding this title) is an amusing diatribe against mathematicians and academics. A good reader of Swift must be willing to embrace self-parody.

The fourth and final trip is the most controversial one, since it is a direct blow at the arrogance of human nature. And yet, this part is an excellent exposition of Swift’s thinking and his deep aversion of brutality and despotism.

Apart from Swift’s exuberant imagination, I have greatly enjoyed his language. In spite of the irony and satire, his writing reads as coming directly from the pen of Mister Common Sense. Swift wrote in a limpid form, keeping a perfect pace that accompanied an impeccable stream of clear thinking. Swift was known for his conviction on the appropriate use of language:

That the use of speech was to make us understand one another, and to receive information of facts; now if any one said the thing which was not, these ends were defeated.

And to make sure of this, he would read aloud to his servants to confirm that his text would be understood.

He kept his humour until the end, and this is what he wrote for his own epitaph.

He gave the little wealth he had,
To build a House for Fools and Mad.
And shew’d by one Satyric Touch,
No Nation needed it so much.

I close this book feeling a great respect for the smart, polite Houyhnhnms who enjoy a level of wisdom and common sense that should be the envy of all of us.

Profile Image for Matthew.
1,219 reviews8,992 followers
March 3, 2017
This was my favorite required reading in high school (well, actually, probably tied with Animal Farm). It was a very pleasant and unexpected surprise. The reference points I had were cartoon retellings of this from my youth. I only really had an image of Gulliver vs the Lilliputians - and that was only the most basic "giant in a land full of very small people" storylines (well, they were trying to entertain children, so it doesn't have to get much more complex than that). But, the book is made up of more stories than just Gulliver as a giant (hence the Travels - plural). The content of these stories is witty and not-so-thinly veiled political and social commentary. In the end, it didn't feel like required reading at all - it was a truly enjoyable adventure I was glad to take!
Profile Image for Piyangie.
530 reviews489 followers
May 26, 2021
My understanding of Gulliver's Travels was that it is a children/young adult adventure story. I really don't know how I formed this opinion, but it was how I viewed this book until now. I was very much surprised to find that this is no children/YA story, nor an ordinary adventure story. It is a prosaic satire directed at human nature and human conduct. There is adventure of course, but only to provide the background to work on satire.

The story consists of four different voyages of Gulliver and the many adventures that he encounters in the process. Swift uses Gulliver's experiences during these adventure and his trials to satirize the human nature and human conduct generally. There is no branch that escapes Swift's satire. The human greed for power and avarice are two areas that meet heavily with his satire. Under the first category, European governments (including his own), their politics, their diplomacy and international relations comes under heavy blows. Under the second category, many individuals ranging from politicians, lawyers, doctors to common man and woman suffer from his lashes.

The story is written in a "Voltairean" style. It was partly interesting, partly boring, partly annoying and partly offensive. I cannot really say that I "liked" the story, but this odd combination kept me going through it. And when I finished reading my heart was set for a 3 star rating which means that I must have enjoyed it enough to view it in a favourable light. According to Wikipedia, Swift has claimed to have written the book "to vex the world rather than divert it'. I certainly think he achieved his objective. :) And for my part, I think I've done fairly well and paid him his due. :)
Profile Image for Manny.
Author 30 books14k followers
March 23, 2014
Another excellent invention of the Laputan Academy is a kind of fellowship or club, which they call in their language Sdaerdoog, or superior literature; and indeed the name does not belie the thing, for it is quite the most superior manner of enjoying literature yet devized. Noting that every man will be well acquainted with the great books of the world, yet few have the inclination to read them, the Laputan savants have ordained a scheme, no less ingenious than equitable, whereby this onerous duty is divided among the members of the club. On completing the perusal of a book, the reader composes a short pamphlet, that they term a "weiver", containing all the knowledge a gentleman of good sense and education may learn from the writing in question. This he then distributes to his fellows, who can can now read a score of weivers in the time they would perforce have laid down on the reading of a single tome. There are members of the Academy who do naught but read weivers the length of the day; it is impossible to exaggerate the prodigious extent of their learning, which would be the envy of any Oxford or Cambridge professor.
Profile Image for Calista.
4,074 reviews31.3k followers
January 29, 2020
I picked this up to do a re-read. Out side of the Lilliput part of the story, I remember little about this. I read it over 20 years ago.

The book is several different stories told by Gulliver on his wild travels. They are:
1. Lilliput - the most famous one people know this story for
2. Brobdingnag - the opposite of lilliput. He goes to a land of giants
3. Laputa, Balnibarbi, Luggnagg, Glubbdubdrib and Japan
4. Houyhnhnms

If this book had just been about Lilliput and Brobdingnag - it would have been a 4 star read for me, but taking the whole into account and it's barely 3 stars.

There are weird things that happen all through this story. In Lilliput, the royal quarters are set on fire and Gulliver rushes to helps. He urinates on the building to put out the fire. The queen is so upset about this that they want to blind Gulliver.

The first two parts are interesting. Starting in Part 3, things get very slow and somewhat miserable. Jonathan is a wonderful writer and that is something, but it was miserable trying to get through the end. I can't believe I got through this as a kid.

By the time we were in the land of the Houyhnhnms and he was describing the hair around their beasts anus and their utters, I was just done. It was horrible. The end became a torture. I was so glad to be done with this book. I'm surprised I don't give it a lower star.

I know this is supposed to be satire, but I don't know what was happening back in the 1700s enough to get the references. I can't really enjoy the satire.

One thing, I will never read this book again. If anyone asks. If you know European history and love Satire, then you might enjoy this book. All others should read the first two parts and put the book down.

The last two parts would be a good torture devise for someone you don't like. Just make them listen to it.
Profile Image for Valeriu Gherghel.
Author 6 books1,447 followers
February 1, 2022

Cine mai citește astăzi cartea lui Jonathan Swift? Cine știe că yahoo.mail - pe care-l folosim toți - trimite chiar la acest minunat roman? Voi comenta doar un episod foarte amuzant.

În Călătoriile lui Gulliver (III: 5), naratorul vizitează marea academie din Lagado, vede la lucru, într-o aulă, maşinăria lui Raymundus Lullus. Dar marea academie are o secţiune de savanţi filologi, care se dedică edificării unui limbaj universal, accesibil oricărei ființe din univers.

Cum arată noul limbaj? Iată un prim proiect. Cuvintele polisilabice sînt reduse la unităţi lexicale, formate dintr-o singură silabă. Sînt eliminate verbele, adjectivele, participiile. Rămîn doar substantivele, numele monosilabice. Oamenii vor discuta între ei doar prin silabe: pa, vu, ga, di, ke, zo. Din fericire, savanții lui Swift nu se mulțumesc doar cu atît. Limba perfectă se va dispensa și de silabe. Au sesizat un proiect nou.

Acum, cuvintele sunt desfiinţate complet. Dacă substantivele desemnează întotdeauna lucruri şi numai lucruri, e mai potrivit să aduci lucrurile însele, cînd vrei să exprimi ceva. Limba este cu adevărat universală, poate fi pricepută de oricine, discutăm arătînd lucruri și numai lucruri. Omul nu mai scoate sunete, nu-și mișcă buzele, arată cu degetul. Avantajul acestui limbaj este, în opinia academicienilor lui Jonathan Swift, protejarea gîtlejului şi plămînilor. Rostirea înverșunată de propoziții duce la coroziunea gîtlejului și la micşorarea volumul plămînilor. E mai bine să ţii gura închisă: te ferești în acest chip și de viruși, rămîi perfect sănătos pînă la moarte.

Dar e cu putință oare să cuvîntăm cu lucruri şi numai cu lucruri? N-am mai rosti propoziţia „Mărul e roşu”. Am prezenta pur şi simplu un măr roşu. Dacă am avea nevoie de lumină, am arăta iasca, amnarul, lampa cu fitil muiat în petrol. Dacă am dori să elogiem dulcele, am oferi celuilalt o stafidă, o fărîmă de zahăr candel brun, un sărut. Nimic mai simplu, nu?
Profile Image for Jason Koivu.
Author 7 books1,256 followers
February 7, 2017
So much more than just a fantastical tale of a man journeying to mystical lands. This is thinly veiled satire...super thin.

A seafaring Englishman ends up in four fairytale worlds where people are small, gigantic, smarties in the maths, and where people are horses. By the second journey you'd think he'd be done with all this, but in the end he's done with humans and has trouble living amongst his own kind.

Written in the old style where listing off occurrences constituted an adventure and a perfectly well constructed story, Gulliver's Travels can be at times a tedious read. It's filled with a laundry list of actions ("I did this and then I did this"), and when you think some tension or conflict is a brewin' you get simple expedients flatly stated ("I was faced with an obstacle and so I overcame it by doing this.") After a time it all becomes trying and uninspiring, making the turning of pages ever more difficult.

However, if you've come to this book looking for condemnation of the human race's worst foibles, you've come to the right place. Swift dispatches venom towards the leeches of humanity. Lawyers, for instance, get blasted left, right and center. I'm one of those people that feels we're not much better, and sometimes not any better, than base animals, so I was okay with the author's bashing of my fellow man. Those who don't understand anything beyond "Humans! We're #1!" aren't going to like this.

Regardless of its faults, I'm glad I finally got around to reading the original, full-length version. In school I read an abridged and sanitized version, which left out all the mentions of genitalia and bodily functions. This is much better with all the pee and tits included!

PS: Check out my video review of Gulliver's Travels here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKpYD...
Profile Image for Ava.
Author 0 books16 followers
January 18, 2008
Glad to get the references now: although I could have just read Wikipedia: the Lilliputians are small, the Brobdignagians big, the flying city is whatever, the Houhynhyns are really great (although he's pretty unpersuasive on this -- why are they so great? because they don't have a word for lying? Gulliver grows to love horses so much that he can't speak to his own family when he gets home -- I didn't buy it; I just think he's a misanthrope), and I suppose the most significant use of reading the book is to understand the etymology of the word "Yahoo." I will now call people "Yahoos" with much more relish than I did before.

But the book: not much there. It's a methodical, list-like satire on travel books which are themselves dull. No plot, and no character development to speak of except the persuasion of Gulliver that horses are better than people because people are so awful. He dwells at length on how awful people are, but in the end this just made me think Gulliver was a nasty sort of person who relishes big PJ-O'Rourke-ish generalizations. If I want to hate people, I'll get on a subway. I want books to help me do more than that.
December 13, 2022

This was my favourite classic growing up, and don't ask me why! Re-reading it as an adult didn't really feel like a book a child would like but oh well, I guess I liked all that poop and pee talk!
I am not a fan of satire and political science, I also think that it's almost impossible to fully understand a book like this which is so deeply rooted in the society it was written into, but overall I think it's still very enjoyable for a modern reader, and an important - albeit weird - classic of literature. The absurdity of the society Swift describes, the imagination he's capable of and the crazy ideas he put into this work still amaze me after re-reading this for at least the third time! This is probably one of those weird books that everybody loves but you just can't quite pinpoint the exact reason why. Maybe because we're all a little gullible deep down... 😏
Profile Image for ♡ Martina ♡.
178 reviews153 followers
April 23, 2022
I viaggi di Gulliver, libro più famoso di Jonathan Swift racconta, come si evince dal libro, quattro viaggi in quattro paesi diversi del medico chirurgo Lemuel Gulliver.
Questo romanzo è scritto sotto forma di diario in cui il narratore racconta ciò che gli accade durante i suoi mirabolanti viaggi ricchi di avventure e sventure.
L'autore in questo caso si spaccia per editore a cui viene affidato il compito di pubblicare codesto libro scritto per mano di Gulliver di cui afferma essere parente.
Ogni viaggio è condotto a esprimere disprezzo verso la società inglese e man mano che il libro prosegue questo sentimento diventa sempre più evidente.
I primi due viaggi si basano su diverse prospettive e sui contrari, infatti, Gulliver a Lilliput si trova a essere un gigante tra i piccolissimi e meschini lillipuziani; mentre a Brobdingnag si trova a "vestire" i panni dei lillipuziani tra i giganteschi abitanti di Brobdingnag. Il dualismo che l'autore crea in questi primi due viaggi è affascinante.
Il terzo viaggio è quello che mi è piaciuto di meno in quanto l'ho trovato assai confusionario anche se presenta una critica tagliente nei confronti della Royal Society.
L'ultimo viaggio è veramente spettacolare, un mondo utopico governato dai cavalli e in cui l'uomo (anche se io ritengo essere una scimmia antropomorfa in quanto ha diverse fattezze dall'uomo moderno) è solo una bestia selvaggia che obbedisce solo ai vizi di Natura.
Swift mette in atto con questo romanzo una satira senza precedenti nei confronti di ogni cosa, comincia con la religione parlando dello scisma della Chiesa Anglicana messo in atto da Enrico VIII e continua nei confronti della politica, della società, della scienza e nei confronti dell'umanità in sé arrivando a disprezzare tutti gli Yahoo (o almeno questo è ciò che l'autore fa provare a Gulliver).
Altro fatto interessante di questo romanzo è presentato dal fatto che esso è scritto in chiave parodica per prendersi gioco dei romanzi marinareschi di cui Defoe è "fondatore".
Non voglio aggiungere altro perché nonostante alcune parti non siano state di mio gusto bisogna ammettere che questo libro è veramente geniale sotto molti aspetti.
Profile Image for Paul.
2,309 reviews20 followers
February 7, 2017
This was a re-read of an old favourite. I fell in love with this book in my teens and have returned to it a few times since (my teens were a long time ago).

Jonathan Swift was a satirist of the first order. While you can read this as a silly fantasy story (it works on two levels and the first time I read it as a pre-teen I enjoyed it purely as a silly fantasy tale) virtually everything in this book has a double-meaning. As with most, if not all, of the best satirists, Swift's commentaries are both hilarious and boiling-water-to-the-face scathing.

The book is intelligent, hilarious and (barely) conceals a seething rage in the author's heart that is aimed like a burning arrow at the society that surrounded him.
Profile Image for Anthony Vacca.
423 reviews284 followers
January 29, 2016
It’s one of the stranger occurrences that Gulliver’s Travels is recognized more often than not as a fantastical adventure for the delight of children, when in actuality it is one of the bleakest condemnations of human beings to ever corrode a page. The Reverend Swift is a master of misanthropic satire, and even with the arsenal of footnotes (as this wonderful edition from Oxford Classics exhaustively supplies) essential for a well-rounded reading of GT, the Gentle Reader is still left staggering to keep up with the immense range of the Author’s targets. Nothing is sacred in Swift’s world, besides that dim flicker of reason that most people dedicate their entire lives to trying to snuff out. Up against a foe like that, Swift teases with barely veiled blasphemy and sedation, all in the hopes of making the reader uncomfortable enough to possibly fart out an actual thought of their own.

The plot of the book is familiar enough to most: a seemingly innocuous account of the travels and travails of a polite and resourceful British naval surgeon as he visits exotic locales not to be found on any early 18th century map. But what most people miss (including all the little tykes who have watched shitty movie adaptations, such as the one featuring the talents of Jack Black) is that as Gulliver makes his way through adventures with tiny people, giants and cities in the sky, he finds himself losing heart in his sincere attempts to explain and defend his country’s societal and moral mores, and by novel’s end is crushed with bitterness and disgust for the human race. The fatal thrust of Swift’s argument—which, as he declares in a letter to his pen pal, Alexander Pope, is to show that there is nothing rational about humans as rational animals—is delivered in Gulliver’s final travel to an utopia where talking horses encapsulate all the ideals we supposedly champion, while humans are nothing but a bunch of savage Yahoos. What follows is one of the most disparaging denouements on the human condition that this particular reader has ever encountered.

A hilarious but sobering remedy for any wayward soul who still has faith in humanity.
Profile Image for Edward.
419 reviews404 followers
February 2, 2020
There is more to Gulliver's Travels than you might expect based on the numerous adaptations we have all seen in popular culture. Throughout the book there is a progression from the familiar, jaunty adventure to more serious satire and criticism.

The first two parts of the book (Lilliput and Brobdingnag) are most recognisable, most straightforward in their premises, and are perhaps the most entertaining of the four parts in terms of their storytelling. By the third part, something has developed akin to modern science-fiction. The premises become more detailed and complex, allowing Swift to isolate, highlight and contrast various aspects of culture, politics, science and technology, history and anthropology. The relevance of many of these analyses is diminished by the passage of time, but they are nonetheless thoughtful and trenchant. The fourth section is most surprising in its tone and in the degree of its pessimism. It presents a bleak portrayal of humanity as irredeemable by its very nature, and therefore purposeless in its striving.

All of this makes Gulliver's Travels quite a strange yet compelling mix of styles and themes. It is perhaps itself like an adventure into unknown territory: it begins in search of one thing and ends up discovering something else entirely.
Profile Image for W.
1,185 reviews4 followers
December 5, 2020
"This is a giant rip off of Honey I Shrunk the Kids and Honey I Blew up the Kid." This is a line from Paul Bryant's review,which made me smile.

Gulliver's Travels works equally well as a biting satire on the human condition,as a children's story,a morality play,and for that matter as the source for some fun movie adaptations.

First read in my childhood as an Urdu translation,later as a textbook and finally went through the whole thing by choice.

The first two voyages to Liliput and Brobdingnag are a lot of fun. After that,the two remaining voyages to Laputa and the land of the yahoos,though laced with deep meaning are not as memorable.

An interesting series of adventures,or rather misadventures.It entertains as well as vexes the reader.
Profile Image for James.
Author 20 books3,725 followers
August 20, 2020
Book Review
If you've never heard of Jonathan Swift before, perhaps this will jog your memory... In one of his other famous works, A Modest Proposal, he offers a suggestion that we should eat babies in order to survive.

Whaaaaat? You're probably thinking I'm a nut job for talking about this. But a few things to remember...

1. Swift is Irish. So it's OK. They can say those sort of things and get away with. And so can I. Because I'm Irish. Oh... and it's all satire. So let's relax a bit. :P

2. A Modest Proposal is not the point of this review. Swift's other famous work, Gulliver's Travels, is the point of this review.

3. Swift wrote these novels / essays about 300 years ago. Yes, you read that correctly. 300 years ago.

4. The government controlled everything. He was a rebel. But a good one. And his works are absolutely fantastic. On to Gulliver's Travels.

5. This may be where the word "yahoo" comes from. LOL

This is one where I just don't want to ruin the story. Gulliver encounters several new species of people on his travels, most notably the Brobdingnag folks and the Lilliputians. Basically, the land of really tiny people and really huge people. But don't think this is a non-politically correct book, where he's saying negative things about giants, midgets, short people, tall people, etc. It's satire and 300 years old. It's the language of the past. He's commenting on society's values, the things people say/do, who's hovering over whom, etc. He's actually "standing up for the [wo]man."

It's such an absurdist story that you undoubtedly enjoy it. Yes, its language is a little stilted. And it's written in a way where sometimes the classics can be painful. I admit it. I love them, but I admit it. If you need something satirical, read a few chapters. Pick the first two voyages. It's a bit lengthy, but you'll get the drift even skimming a little bit. Everything he has to say is still mostly pertinent to how we feel about government today, just different priorities and levels of occurrence. But when you can input all the things we're feeling and thinking into a entirely new made-up race or breed of people, showing the silliness of what is going on in politics and culture, it's a good laugh worth experiencing. It was one of the fastest published and absorbed works of literature in history. People ate it up! America wasn't even a country when this was published!!!

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews... here's the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you'll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I've visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

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Profile Image for فؤاد.
1,066 reviews1,761 followers
May 5, 2017
اسفار اربعه
سفرنامه ى گاليور از چهار سفر تشكيل شده؛ هر بار گاليور، مثل سندباد بحرى، به سفرى دريايى ميره، ولى طوفان يا وقايع ديگه باعث ميشه سر از جزيره اى ناشناخته دربياره.

سفر اول: لى لى پوت
گاليورى كه در ساحل خوابيده، و وقتى بيدار ميشه مى بينه دست و پاش رو با ريسمان به زمين بستن و هزاران انسان كوچولو دورش جمع شدن. معروف ترين صحنه ى كتاب.
لى لى پوتى ها، نماينده ى انسان هاى كم خرد و حقير هستن، جنگ هاشون حقير، افكارشون حقير، زندگى شون حقير، و تقابل اين شرايط با عظمت گاليور، شرايط كميكى ايجاد مى كنه.

سفر دوم: برابدينگ نگ
گاليورى كه در خانه ى عروسك يك دختربچه ى غول پيكر زندگى مى كنه، و دختربچه مثل عروسك تر و خشكش مى كنه. اين هم صحنه ى آشناى ديگه ى كتاب.
غول هاى برابدينگ نگ، بر عكس لى لى پوتى ها، نماينده ى انسان هاى بزرگ هستن. پادشاهشون ساعت ها با گاليور بحث مى كنه و از رسوم انسان ها مى پرسه و از حماقت انسان ها تعجب مى كنه.

روى هم رفته اين دو سفر پر ماجراتر و خنده آورتر هستن. به نظر ميرسه حوصله ى نويسنده بعد از اين دو بخش، كم كم ته مى كشيده.

سفر سوم: لاپوتا
اگه انيمه ى زيباى ژاپنى "لاپوتا: قلعه اى در آسمان" از هايائو ميازاكى رو ديده باشيد، اون انيمه از اين بخش سفرنامه الهام گرفته، هر چند از لحاظ مضمون به هم ارتباطى ندارن.
سرزمينى ويران و فقير، ولى پر از دانشمندانى كه به جاى حل مشكلات مردم، به مسائل انتزاعى و بى فايده مى پردازن. در حالى كه قلعه ى پرنده ى پادشاه، با ساكنان فيلسوفش، در بالاى ابرها سير مى كنه و از زندگى واقعى مردم سرزمينش بى خبره.

سفر چهارم: سرزمين هوينهم ها
اسب هاى عاقل و سخنگويى كه انسان هاى وحشى و نفهم (كه "ياهو" ناميده ميشن) رو به ارابه و گاوآهن مى بندن. اين فصل تماماً لحنى تعليمى داره، و به دور از ماجراجويى هاى طنزآميز دو فصل اول، فقط به انتقاد از رذائل انسانى مى پردازه.

چرا كتاب رو خوندم؟
يك اخترفيزيك دان، هشت كتاب رو پيشنهاد كرده بود كه هر فرد تحصيل كرده و روشن انديشى بايد مطالعه كنه. بعضى از كتاب هاى اين ليست رو خونده بودم (عهدين، شهريار ماكياولى و هنر رزم سون تزو) ولى بعضى ديگه رو نه (منشأ انواع داروين، ثروت ملل آدام اسميت و...).
با توجه به تصويرى كه از انيميشن گاليور داشتم، ("من از اولشم مى دونستم..." و كاپيتان ليچ بدجنس و كلاغش كه مى خوان نقشه ى گنج گاليور رو تصاحب كنن) هيچ وقت فكر نمى كردم كتاب خاصى باشه. وقتى اسمش رو توى اين ليست ديدم، تعجب كردم، و چون در دسترس بود سراغش رفتم و ديدم كه خيلى از عناصر انيميشن در كتاب وجود نداره و بيشتر وقايع انيميشن ساخته و پرداخته ى ذهن انيماتورها بوده.
البته كتاب خيلى خوبى بود، ولى از همين جا اعلام مى كنم كه جاش توى اون ليست نبود، و اگه من بودم كتاب هاى مهم تر ديگه اى رو جاش ميذاشتم.

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