Swift and modernity
Jonathan Swift’s work, both his fiction narratives and his other writings, comprises a critique of modernity as embodied by his contemporary Daniel Defoe. At the same time, Swift is the author of a major text that raises narratological, formal, thematic, political, moral and philosophical issues in ways that are typical of modernity. Research will draw on the existing, highly comprehensive international critical bibliography, on the comparison with Defoe as emblematic of modernity in a dialectical counterpoint, and on the insights of French conceptual frameworks and contemporary literary reinterpretations. A book published in 2016 by the « theme » organiser will serve as a point of departure. Book-buying strategies supported by LERMA and the University Library mean we now dispose of the most up-to-date research materials. A joint publication in English, aimed at studying how Swift’s principal works stand up to 21st century questioning, and innovative also in its own epistolary form, will be written and co-edited by the members of the « theme ». PhD students will be invited to collaborate closely on the research projects. Our international partners include scholars from Oxford and Yale (Prof. Claude Rawson was made Doctor Honoris Causa of Aix-Marseille University in 2012), with whom we have already cooperated at several scholarly events.