Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Reading 21

Jonathan Swift, "A Modest Proposal"

In the 18th century, Swift produced this anonymous tract proposing dealing with the increase in the Irish poor by eating the children, the argument being that this would deal with the homeless population and provide material sustenance and revenue through the new ways that Irish children could be prepared for table and served at various restaurants and taverns. This should be read by everyone. Fortunately, it's anthologized in most readers for American high schools and presented (rightly, I might add) as the apotheosis of political satire.

Edgar Allan Poe, "To Octavia"

The poet says when he's with his friends and having fun and drinking etc. he's still got his girl on his mind. A real poem, for Octavia Walton, a wealthy American socialite hailing from Georgia.

Franz Kafka, "Wedding Preparations in the Country"

I don't get what's going on here apart from the following. A man surnamed Raban is traveling cross-country to meet his fiancée Betty. The story is in three fragments, left incomplete by Kafka who died before he could finish it. Which makes me wonder why it was anthologized and why I even bothered.

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