This week my class is reading the third book in Gulliver's Travels. This is the one that people most ignore. Kids' shows have the Lilliputians and the Brobdingnagians (little people and the giants) and some even add the horses of Book 4, but most people ignore Book 3.
I think that is interesting because Book 3 has several different cultures in it. Is it because Swift doesn't spend as much time on each that people tend to skip over this section? Is it because Japan is real and the other places seem TOO fantastical? I doubt that. It's an interesting idea.
For those of you who don't know, and care, there is Laputa, a floating island where people care about theoretical mathematics and music. There is the land underneath the floating island where the people only care for theories and are starving to death because of getting rid of the old ways of farming and the new ways not working. There is another island, in the ocean, where people are doing things like writing books with a random word generator. Then there is Japan.
Tomorrow's class will only be a quiz. Which is not good for the students. They'll think it's good, because they can go home, but they should really go do some research. But they won't.
I don't have anything else to lecture on though. We've already gone over:
travelouges and GT
the history of the novel
the history of satire
a bio of Swift
a discussion of the England of the times, both religiously and politically
the history of the world in general at the time, including Japan's closed doors to Europeans
So, this week is just the quiz. Next week will be the quiz and a required tour of the library.
Then we start on drama.