Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Sunbeams and Cucumbers, Anyone?

Sunbeams and Cucumbers, Anyone?

Today I received my P60 from Holroyd Construction. Which would make sense, it being the beginning of a new financial year and all, were it not for the fact that I haven't worked for them in over a year. So all that this piece of paper could tell me was that they've paid me precisely nothing in the last 12 months. Which I was well aware of and didn't need another tree felling so that they could inform me of this fact. Really, if I squint, I can almost see the twisted logic.

What I can't see the twisted logic of, however, is Swift. I'm well aware that there are two major schools of thought on how to read his work and it may seem a little simplistic to subscribe to the one which paints him as a misanthrope, but I can't shake off the repeated and unrelenting view of humanity which his work creates. Gulliver's Travels seems to be underlined by an overidingly repulsive and beastial view of man. And maybe it's the result of reading the book in an unabridged one sitting, but I can't help feeling repelled by what Swift seems to be saying. Some of it's very clever satire, I'll give him that, but when you cut away the cleverness there's a level of disgust that I just can't relate to. And, it must be said, that if I read another sentence which makes some coarse, grotesque generalisation on women I may well throw the book across the room. I don't know which extracts of the story are published for the children's version [I'm assuming that it omits the overly talky book three and the frankly disturbing book four] but I know that I wouldn't want any future fancy-wellington wearing child of mine to read it. Or at least not until they've realised that there's much more to humanity than the workings of the digestive system. Maybe Mr Swift and I are fundamentally opposed; I think lots of things are beautiful, he thinks nothing is. It's a good job we'll never have to have dinner together.

3 comments:

Nik said...

i thought any future children of yours were going to wear cowboy boots. though not if they're boys, then they can wear deck shoes...

Corinne said...

You are indeed right, any future boho-princess daughter of mine will indeed wear cowboy boots [she'll have them in multiple colours to go with her tutu and stripey tights], but I didn't want to exclude any future son from the blog, so fancy wellingtons it is.

Damn, though, I really got the wrong part of the footwear saga in 'The Plan'. It would be in the child's genes to piss me off with his footwear.

Nik said...

I actually didn't realise that! Brilliant! So my future children will be chavs, but at least they'll have good footwear. Hmm, I think we're possibly even.