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Jonathan Swift and Popular Culture Myth, Media and the Man: Myth, Media, and the Man
     

Jonathan Swift and Popular Culture Myth, Media and the Man: Myth, Media, and the Man

by A. Kelly
 

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Ann Kelly's provocative book breaks the mold of Swift studies. Twentieth century Swift scholars have tended to assess Jonathan Swift as a pillar of the eighteenth-century 'republic of letter', a conservative, even reactionary voice upholding classical values against the welling tide of popularization in literature. Kelly looks at Swift instead as a practical exponent

Overview

Ann Kelly's provocative book breaks the mold of Swift studies. Twentieth century Swift scholars have tended to assess Jonathan Swift as a pillar of the eighteenth-century 'republic of letter', a conservative, even reactionary voice upholding classical values against the welling tide of popularization in literature. Kelly looks at Swift instead as a practical exponent of the popular and impressario of the literary image. She argues that Swift turned his back on the elite to write for a popular audience, and that he annexed scandals to his fictionalized print alter ego, creating a continual demand for works by or about this self-mythologized figure. A fascinating look at print culture, the commodification of the author, and the history of popular culture, this book should provoke lots of discussion.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

'Kelly's literate and enjoyable style makes her work accessible and interesting to undergraduates and specialists alike.' - Choice

'Kelly's is a provocative but a very convincing thesis, the more attractive for its freedom from academic jargon. She has clearly profited from later twentieth-century critical theory, but is very effective in the use she makes of older insights from psychological and folklore commentators; and both her command of the demotic ephemera of Swift's day and of the bye-ways of anglophone popular culture in the two and a half centuries since his death are exemplary of Swift scholarship at its finest, of a sort we have rarely seen for decades.' - Robert Mahoney, Irish Studies Review

Booknews
A long-time specialist on the Anglo-Irish writer, Kelly (English, Howard U.) explores how Swift (1667-1745) chose popular literature rather than high-culture genres as his medium, and used it to created himself as a myth during his own lifetime. She notes the apparent contradiction of using ephemeral themes and works to achieve a fame that has outlasted many of his peers. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780230602342
Publisher:
Palgrave Macmillan US
Publication date:
07/27/2008
Edition description:
2002
Pages:
244
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.70(d)

Meet the Author

Ann Cline Kelly has been writing on Jonathan Swift for 30 years. She is Professor of English at Howard University, and the author of Swift and the English Language.

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