It’s a good day to be born if you’d like to grow up to be a brilliant social satirist. First up: the unparalleled Jonathan Swift (30 November 1667–19 October 1745).
Bizarrely, his Gulliver’s Travels has been relegated to children’s literature. I hadn’t much cared for it when I was 8 or 9—small wonder, as I was in no position to appreciate the anger and wit that underlay it. I was lucky enough, however, to study a semester with Dr Janet Buck of Douglass College when I was 18, and she opened my eyes both to Gulliver and to Swift’s A Modest Proposal. (I’m not sure whether it’s to be celebrated or mourned that the latter is still so timely.)
And, as I said: still timely. Below is Peter Kuper’s adaptation of Swift, included in OWS Illustrated #1, a pamphlet of comics related to Occupy Wall Street (click to enlarge for readability):