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Jonathan Swift

Date de naissance: 30. novembre 1667
Date de décès: 19. octobre 1745

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Jonathan Swift, né le 30 novembre 1667 à Dublin, en Irlande, et mort le 19 octobre 1745 dans la même ville est un écrivain, satiriste, essayiste, pamphlétaire politique anglo-irlandais. Il est aussi poète et clerc et à ce titre il a été doyen de la Cathédrale Saint-Patrick de Dublin.

Il est célèbre pour avoir écrit Les Voyages de Gulliver. Swift est probablement le plus grand satiriste en prose de la langue anglaise. Il publie ses œuvres en usant de pseudonymes comme Lemuel Gulliver, Isaac Bickerstaff et M.B. Drapier, ou même anonymement. Il est connu enfin pour deux styles de satire, la satire horacienne et la satire juvénalienne. Il fut membre du Scriblerus Club.

Citations Jonathan Swift

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„Vision is the Art of seeing Things invisible.“

— Jonathan Swift
Thoughts on various subjects (Further thoughts on various subjects) (1745)

„There is nothing in this World constant but Inconstancy“

— Jonathan Swift
Context: ALL Rivers go to the Sea, but none return from it. Xerxes wept when he beheld his Army, to consider that in less than a Hundred Years they would be all Dead. Anacreon was' Choakt with a Grape-stone, and violent Joy Kills as well as violent Grief. There is nothing in this World constant but Inconstancy; yet Plato thought that if Virtue would appear to the World in her own native Dress, all Men would be Enamoured with her. But now since Interest governs the World, and Men neglect the Golden Mean, Jupiter himself, if he came on the Earth would be Despised, unless it were as he did to Danae in a Golden Shower. For Men nowadays Worship the Rising Sun, and not the Setting.

„Men nowadays Worship the Rising Sun, and not the Setting.“

— Jonathan Swift
Context: ALL Rivers go to the Sea, but none return from it. Xerxes wept when he beheld his Army, to consider that in less than a Hundred Years they would be all Dead. Anacreon was' Choakt with a Grape-stone, and violent Joy Kills as well as violent Grief. There is nothing in this World constant but Inconstancy; yet Plato thought that if Virtue would appear to the World in her own native Dress, all Men would be Enamoured with her. But now since Interest governs the World, and Men neglect the Golden Mean, Jupiter himself, if he came on the Earth would be Despised, unless it were as he did to Danae in a Golden Shower. For Men nowadays Worship the Rising Sun, and not the Setting.

„I said the thing which was not.“

— Jonathan Swift
Context: I said the thing which was not. (For they have no word in their language to express lying or falsehood.) Voyage to Houyhnhnms, Ch. 3

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„ALL Rivers go to the Sea, but none return from it.“

— Jonathan Swift
Context: ALL Rivers go to the Sea, but none return from it. Xerxes wept when he beheld his Army, to consider that in less than a Hundred Years they would be all Dead. Anacreon was' Choakt with a Grape-stone, and violent Joy Kills as well as violent Grief. There is nothing in this World constant but Inconstancy; yet Plato thought that if Virtue would appear to the World in her own native Dress, all Men would be Enamoured with her. But now since Interest governs the World, and Men neglect the Golden Mean, Jupiter himself, if he came on the Earth would be Despised, unless it were as he did to Danae in a Golden Shower. For Men nowadays Worship the Rising Sun, and not the Setting.

„Yet malice never was his aim;
He lashed the vice but spared the name.
No individual could resent,
Where thousands equally were meant.“

— Jonathan Swift
Context: Yet malice never was his aim; He lashed the vice but spared the name. No individual could resent, Where thousands equally were meant. His satire points at no defect But what all mortals may correct; For he abhorred that senseless tribe Who call it humor when they gibe. Verses on the Death of Dr. Swift (1731), l. 459

„Falsehood flies, and truth comes limping after it“

— Jonathan Swift
Context: Falsehood flies, and truth comes limping after it, so that when men come to be undeceived, it is too late; the jest is over, and the tale hath had its effect: like a man, who hath thought of a good repartee when the discourse is changed, or the company parted; or like a physician, who hath found out an infallible medicine, after the patient is dead. The Examiner No. XIV (Thursday, November 9th, 1710)

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