satire

The Wonderful Worlds of Jonathan Swift

The Wonderful Worlds of Jonathan Swift

On November 30, 1667, Anglo-Irish satirist, essayist, political pamphleteer, poet and cleric Jonathan Swift was born. He is probably best remembered for his satire “Gulliver’s Travels” and is regarded as the foremost prose satirist in the English language, who originally published all of his works under pseudonyms. “Satire is a sort of glass, wherein beholders do generally discover everybody’s face but their own.” — Jonathan Swift, The Battle of the Books, preface…
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Nothing Really Mattered to Ambrose ‘Bitter’ Bierce

Nothing Really Mattered to Ambrose ‘Bitter’ Bierce

Author, journalist, satirist, and critic Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce was born on June 24, 1842. He had a great influence in the literature of the 20th century through his works, most of them dealing with the American Civil War. A prolific and versatile writer, Bierce was regarded as one of the most influential journalists in the United States. “Happiness, n. An agreeable sensation arising from contemplating the misery of another.” — The Devil’s Dictionary,…
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John Arbuthnot and the Laws of Chance

John Arbuthnot and the Laws of Chance

On April 29, 1667, Scottish physician, satirist and polymath John Arbuthnot was baptized. He is best remembered for his contributions to mathematics, his membership in the Scriblerus Club (where he inspired both Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels as well as Alexander Pope), and for inventing the figure of John Bull. He published Of the Laws of Chance (1692), the first work on probability published in English, being his translation of a work by…
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Sebastian Brant and the Ship of Fools

Sebastian Brant and the Ship of Fools

On May 10, 1521, German humanist and satirist Sebastian Brant passed away. He is best known for his book of satire entitled ‘Das Narrenschiff” (The Ship of Fools) published in 1494 in Basel, Switzerland. It is most likely that you might have never heard of Brant nor of his famous book. Anyway, if you continue reading, you won’t regret… Sebastian Brant was born in Strasbourg in 1457. The exact date is unknown as…
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The Yes Men Fix the World

The Yes Men Fix the World

The Yes Men and the Haliburton SurvivaBall – Photo via Yes Men @ SurvivaNet. Jacques Servin and Igor Vamos form the culture jamming duo The Yes Men. Through their actions, they try to raise awareness about problematic social issues, in their sense. In order to do this, The Yes Men impersonate people of high economical or political influence to expose lies and injustices. They maintain fake websites to raise attention, which results in…
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