Gullible – on Jonathan Swift

In my article titled “Maybe on Syria” I wrote ironically that certain types of insects would survive nuclear war better than the human race. One of my readers [Fergiemoto] commented: …Wouldn’t it be fascinating to know what they are thinking… They might be thinking, “those people are so gullible.” frizz-reply: as I read GULLIBLE I had to ask “google translate” (I’m German, you know, leichtgläubig) and realized the term means something like brainless follower; my first frizz-translation (of course wrong) was something like: gullible = they are looking like a crowd of Gullivers [similar to “Kafkaesque” as tribute to Franz Kafka] – do you know GULLIVER’S TRAVELS by Jonathan Swift? One of my favorite novels! About the topic, that small persons (like children or insects) like to dream, they would be strong and powerful like a giant! And subliminal Swift wrote not a children’s book but a message for adults: a satire on arrogant rulers, kings, generals and politicians – and their gullible followers.
Shtandart, St. Petersburg, full sail+Longhorn Beetle (Anoplophora beryllina, Cerambycidae)
sailship photo by frizztext + insect photo by itchydogimages / John Horstman, click on the picture to enter his galleries on
my article about Gulliver’s Travels,
once written for
Because Gulliver is not only a story for little children, but at the same time a very ironical satire on social conditions, also adult viewers will find their pleasure. Who has a little insight into a psychological point of view, will moreover discover, that in the gigantic Gulliver, with whom the childlike spectator of course identifies himself at the first meeting, – that this Gulliver helps to become resistant against every nasty surroundings, which will happen to us in our lifetime, using a fantasy-based, satirical technique of making bad things small and unimportant! Swift gives a therapeutically example for children (always being the smaller ones, helpless, powerless at the lower rank of the social influence scale) how to make a wonderful reversal of the everyday fright. The Gulliver shape reconciles to the powerlessness feelings of the childhood. When Jonathan Swift wrote this story, the situation of childhood in Europe was substantially worse than today. Gulliver’s journey to the country of the dwarves (Lilliput) is the favorite story. But the other one, his journey to the giants in the land “Brobdingnag” is more unloved. Many small “Liliput”-towns are built for tourists – but you cannot find any “Brobdingnag”-town, where you have the chance to feel small and suppressed. All in all: Swift has (like a more mocking Homer) created a bold parody on the old Greek “Odyssey”…
Shtandart, St. Petersburg, full sail
photo by frizztext – Russian Sailship SHTANDART, frigate, coming from St. Petersburg, built: 1994 (replica); length: 34m, width: 7m, 18 sails = 680m2

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