45These editor might attempt to recreate the

45These eclectic editions – whether focused on authorial or collaborative ends – often involve a “clear text”, such that any variants appear at the bottom of the page or in an appendix. Readers can examine and compare such variants (if included) if they wish to do so, though this kind of format encourages readers to perceive the edited text as a stable product. The “genetic” approach to editing emphasizes process over product by incorporating the variants into the main text, so that readers directly experience the growth of the text in all its additions and deletions. Most genetic editions consider this growth from the author’s perspective. Thus a genetic editor might attempt to recreate the various alterations to Swift’s original manuscript as it was altered by Tooke, Ford, Faulkner, and Swift himself. Again, distinguishing between the sources of these changes is quite difficult, and it seems unlikely that Swift’s work passed through a neat, linear process of alterations. Nonetheless, a genetic edition could helpfully reveal the text’s history.31Like Motte, Faulkner understood the risks involved with publishing politically subversive satire, and he probably asked to omit this passage, with its clear implications of an Irish revolution extending to regicide. In eighteenth-century Ireland, publishing something as bold as these paragraphs would have invited considerable punishment.Swift was a highly moral man and was shocked by his contemporaries’ easy conversion to reason as the be-all and end-all of philosophy. To be so gullible amounted to non-reason in Swift’s thinking. He therefore offered up the impractical scientists of Laputa and the impersonal, but absolutely reasonable, Houyhnhnms as embodiments of science and reason carried to ridiculous limits. Swift, in fact, created the whole of Gulliver’s Travels in order to give the public a new moral lens. Through this lens, Swift hoped to “vex” his readers by offering them new insights into the game of politics and into the social follies of humans.Many scholars of the era argue that a single name overshadows all others in 18th-century prose satire: Jonathan Swift. Swift wrote poetry as well as prose, and his satires range over all topics. Critically, Swift’s satire marked the development of prose parody away from simple satire or burlesque. A burlesque or lampoon in prose would imitate a despised author and quickly move to reductio ad absurdum by having the victim say things coarse or idiotic. On the other hand, other satires would argue against a habit, practice, or policy by making fun of its reach or composition or methods. What Swift did was to combine parody, with its imitation of form and style of another, and satire in prose. Swift’s works would pretend to speak in the voice of an opponent and imitate the style of the opponent and have the parodic work itself be the satire. Swift’s first major satire was A Tale of a Tub (1703–1705), which introduced an ancients/moderns division that would serve as a distinction between the old and new conception of value. The “moderns” sought trade, empirical science, the individual’s reason above the society’s, while the “ancients” believed in inherent and immanent value of birth, and the society over the individual’s determinations of the good. In Swift’s satire, the moderns come out looking insane and proud of their insanity, and dismissive of the value of history. In Swift’s most significant satire, Gulliver’s Travels , autobiography, allegory, and philosophy mix together in the travels. Thematically, Gulliver’s Travels is a critique of human vanity, of pride. Book one, the journey to Liliput, begins with the world as it is. Book two shows that the idealized nation of Brobdingnag with a philosopher king is no home for a contemporary Englishman. Book four depicts the land of the Houyhnhnms, a society of horses ruled by pure reason, where humanity itself is portrayed as a group of “yahoos” covered in filth and dominated by base desires. It shows that, indeed, the very desire for reason may be undesirable, and humans must struggle to be neither Yahoos nor Houyhnhnms, for book three shows what happens when reason is unleashed without any consideration of morality or utility (i.e. madness, ruin, and starvation).28When Swift originally wrote Part Three, chapter three, he discussed the possibility of rebellion, but emphasized those quashing the rebellion rather than those raising it. This chapter describes the flying island of Laputa, which literally reigns above the island Balnibari. Through the manipulation of a large magnet, Laputa can roam across Balnibari as well as descend and ascend. Should the inhabitants below engage in mutiny, the King of Laputa has various methods of responding:The Enlightenment, sometimes referred to as the Age of Reason, was a confluence of ideas and activities that took place throughout the eighteenth century in Western Europe, England, and the American colonies. Scientific rationalism, exemplified by the scientific method, was the hallmark of everything related to the Enlightenment. Following close on the heels of the Renaissance, Enlightenment thinkers believed that the advances of science and industry heralded a new age of egalitarianism and progress for humankind. More goods were being produced for less money, people were traveling more, and the chances for the upwardly mobile to actually change their station in life were significantly improving. At the same time, many voices were expressing sharp criticism of some time-honored cultural institutions. The Church, in particular, was singled out as stymieing the forward march of human reason. Many intellectuals of the Enlightenment practiced a variety of Deism, which is a rejection of organized, doctrinal religion in favor of a more personal and spiritual kind of faith. For the first time in recorded Western history, the hegemony of political and religious leaders was weakened to the point that citizens had little to fear in making their opinions known. Criticism was the order of the day, and argumentation was the new mode of conversation.