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Satire in an age of madness


Filed under: Fiction

Marking the 350th anniversary of the birth of Jonathan Swift, often seen as a founder of modern satire, four writers discuss contemporary satire in the light of Swift’s legacy.

Marking the 350th anniversary of the birth of Jonathan Swift, often seen as a founder of modern satire, four writers discuss contemporary satire in the light of Swift’s legacy. Revered as one of the fathers of modern satire, Swift is one of our most enigmatic, ambiguous and disturbing writers. In a conversation chaired by the novelist Jonathan Coe, author of a new version of Gulliver’s Travels for eight-yearolds, the panel attempts to pick apart the contradictions in Swift’s political positions, and to consider his continuing relevance: can he be claimed either for the Left or for the Right, and can his ‘savage indignation’ still pack a punch, when modern political reality seems to outstrip satire at every turn? Comedian and impressionist Rory Bremner is noted for his work in political satire. Judith Hawley is Professor of Eighteenth century Literature at Royal Holloway. Martin Rowson’s satirical ncartoons appear regularly in The Guardian and the Daily Mirror. He is the author of a comic-book adaptation of Gulliver’s Travels. Sathnam Sanghera is the author of Marriage Material: A Novel and The Boy with the Topknot: A Memoir of Love, Secrets and Lies in Wolverhampton.

Recorded on: November 28, 2017
Recorded at: British Library Knowledge Centre