Ep. 919, A Voyage to Lilliput, Part 1 of 3, from Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift

The Classic Tales Podcast

05-04-2024 • 1 hr 3 mins

How can Lemuel Gulliver escape from the Lilliputians? They’re only six inches tall – should be a cinch, right? Jonathan Swift, today on The Classic Tales Podcast.

Welcome to The Classic Tales Podcast. Thank you for listening.

The Vintage Episode for the week is “The Yellow Wallpaper”, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Be sure to check it out on Tuesday.

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I’ve been having fun designing the specials for our Kickstarter for the next Arsène Lupin book – The Golden Triangle. Things are moving along nicely. Keep an ear open for when we pull the trigger, hopefully in a couple of weeks!

And it’s time for the Classic Tales Book Club to meet again! Keep an eye on your inboxes on Tuesday for our monthly newsletter which will contain the zoom link. Our zoom meeting will be on Wednesday, April 10th at 4:00 PM Pacific time, 7:00 PM Eastern. We’ll talk about the satirical nature of Gulliver’s Travels, and the power of satire. See you then! Follow the link in the show notes to subscribe to our newsletter, and get the zoom link on Tuesday.

Mark Twain is quoted as saying that, “a classic is a book which people praise and don’t read”. Gulliver’s Travels likely fits into this category for a lot of us. We’ve seen the Max Fleisher cartoon, or the Ray Harryhausen film in the 70s, or the film with Jack Black in 2010. But we’ve probably never read it. Or we tried, and gave it up. So, what is the lasting appeal of this difficult book?

Gulliver’s Travels was originally published in 1727. Swift’s novel is a satire of British monarchy and Imperialism. He succeeds in taking the mundane, or something we largely take for granted, and pushing it to the extreme to show its absurdity. This goes for everything from governments to our own physical bodies. And yeah, nothing is safe, so get ready for some bodily functions we’d rather not talk about to come front and center.

Gulliver records his travels to several different lands of adventure. Instead of going through the entire book now, we’ll tackle them one voyage at a time. Then we’ll take a breather. This first stint will be the first part of the book – A Voyage to Lilliput in three parts. Gulliver travels to the land of Lilliput, as well as a land of giants, and also visits the dystopian world of the Houyhnhnms (hoo-IH-nims), among others. I hope you like it.

And now, A Voyage to Lilliput, part 1 of 3, from Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift.

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