chapter  2
Swift’s Literary Techniques
Pages 15

The connexion between a writer’s life and his works is fairly easy to establish. What he does and reads and thinks can be shown to influence what he writes. Much literary criticism is devoted to exploring this relationship. Thus in the case of Swift scholars have analysed his writings minutely in efforts to link them to previous works. The sources of A Tale of a Tub have been sought in a wide ränge of literature from Lucretius to Dryden via Rabelais and Montaigne, while similar connexions have been made between Gulliver s Travels and accounts of other voyages, real or imaginary. Indeed one sometimes gets the impression that if Swift had read in earnest all the books which he is alleged to have read then he would hardly have found time to write himself.