God, Gulliver, and Genocide: Barbarism and the European Imagination, 1492-1945

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Oxford University Press, 2002 - Literary Criticism - 401 pages
We are obsessed with 'barbarians'. They are the 'not us', who don't speak our language, or 'any language', whom we depise, fear, invade and kill; for whom we feel compassion, or admiration, and an intense sexual interest; whose innocence or vigour we aspire to, and who have an extraordinaryinfluence on the comportment, and even modes of dress, of our civilised metropolitan lives; whom we often outdo in the barbarism we impute to them; and whose suspected resemblance to us haunts our introspections and imaginings. They come in two overlapping categories, ethnic others and home-grownpariahs: conquered infidels and savages, the Irish, the poor, the Jews. This book looks afresh at how we have confronted the idea of 'barbarism', in ourselves and others, from 1492 to 1945, through the voices of many writers, chiefly Montaigne, Swift and, to a lesser extent, Shaw.

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Contents

Introduction
1
Indians and Irish from Montaigne to Swift
17
Unspeaking the Unspeakable
24
Us se sont entremangez
33
Good and Bad Indians
42
Utopians Tupinamba Houyhnhnms Yahoos
55
Gunpowder Magic
62
Fynes Moryson and the Intelligencer
69
Killing the Poor An AngloIrish Theme?
183
The Worst of our crimes is poverty
191
Dreams of the Beggar as Nobleman
203
Beggars and Hottentots or Exterminate all the Brutes
209
Badging Branding and Castration
224
The Beggarly Kingdom from Spenser to Joyce
232
The Whole People
237
A Flayed Woman and Brother Footman going to be Hanged
245

Indians Irish and the Scythian Myth
79
The Savage with Hanging Breasts Gulliver Female Yahoos and Racism
92
The Savage with Hanging Breasts
98
Hottentots and Irish
108
The Hottentot Venus
113
The Bum Shop
130
Matings with Strangers
138
Going Native
151
Apes and Angels
162
Postcolonial Couplings
175
The desperate Experiment of Figures of Speech
249
God Gulliver and Genocide
256
Gulliver and Biblical Survivors
266
With the Skins of Yahoos well stitched together
275
The Reprieve of Castration and other Leniencies
287
Abraham Haggles with God
298
Notes
311
Index
381
Copyright

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About the author (2002)


Claude Rawson is Maynard Mack Professor of English, Yale University. His works include Henry Fielding and the Augustan Ideal Under Stress; Gulliver and the Gentle Reader: Studies in Swift and Our Time; Order from Confusion Sprung: Studies in Eighteenth-Century Literature from Swift to Cowper; The Collected Poems of Thomas Parnell, with F. P. Lock; Satire and Sentiment 1660-1830; and Cambridge History of Literary Criticism: Volume 4: The Eighteenth Century, with H. B. Nisbet.

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