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He had, early in life, imbibed such a strong hatred of hypocrisy that he fell into the opposite extreme…
—Thomas Sheridan (Life of Jonathan Swift)
JONATHAN SWIFT (1667–1745) was an Anglo Irish satirist, politician, and churchman, best remembered for his timeless Gulliver’s Travels. He is widely acknowledged as perhaps the finest satirical writer in the English language.
The surprising, sometimes stinging mockery, and superb ironic control displayed throughout Gulliver’s Travels are the hallmarks of a master wit.
Lewis C. Daly has remarked that Swift “eventually became a leading icon of modernist counterculture…placed at the head of Andre Breton's seminal Anthologie de l'Humour Noir, leading the way, as the "veritable initiateur," for the likes of Sade, Poe, Baudelaire, and Dali. He was also a formative influence on the psychedelic revolution's greatest prose innovator, William S. Burroughs, of Naked Lunch fame.”