By Carol Houlihan Flynn
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print Publication Year:1990
Online Publication Date:September 2009
Subjects: English literature 1700-1830
This extended study of the treatment of the physical, material nature of the human body in the works of Jonathan Swift and Daniel Defoe examines the role that literary invention (with its rhetorical and linguistic strategies) plays in expressing and exploring the problems of physicality. The book takes up a wide range of issues relating to the body such as sexuality, cannibalism, scatology, and the fear of contagion. In an eclectic synthesis of recent critical approaches, Professor Flynn draws insight from biographical and psychoanalytic criticism as well as social history. Application of feminist theory offers an original and challenging discussion of renditions of female sexuality in both Defoe and Swift.