Books: A Conjur'd Spirit

JONATHAN SWIFT by Nigel Dennis. 160 pages. Macmillan. $3.95.

Jonathan Swift is the Lucifer of British letters. Unfortunately, posterity has precautiously trimmed the old devil's toenails. As traditionally abridged, Gulliver's Travels is a charming classic for children. Yet Gulliver unexpurgated is no tale for tender ears; it is a ferocious assault on the human species. And Swift unsweetened is no nursery rhymester; he is the most powerful ironist since Aristophanes, the blackest of all the great blackguards who have lacerated the conscience of mankind.

Fearful Contradictions. Like Moses from the mountain, Swift came...

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