Scriblerus Club, Entry Three

After madcap hours of typing, typing, typing, and scouring the MLA Handbook for some help with properly citing poetry, I am officially done.  It feels fantastic.  I’m staring at 4500 words of literary analysis, now safely backed up to my flash drive, and I feel a profound sense of accomplishment.

[Read more…]

Scriblerus Club, Entry Two

I’ve managed to slog through all the reading and finish the first part of my project two weeks ahead of schedule.  Now I have more time to devote to the actual paper.  I thought that immersing myself in 18th century literature for a month would be boring at best – thankfully, I proved myself wrong.  While deciphering old, blotted-over fonts turned out to be tricky, the actual works held my attention.  Pope, in particular, surprised me with the material he snuck into The Dunciad.  An entire section of the work depicts a sort of Dunce Olympics, which includes shouting matches, pissing contests, and races to put men to sleep.  The fact that one man wins a footrace by sailing over the finish line on a burst of fecal matter (yes, this is 18th century British Literature, everyone, how classy) converted me into a fan.

[Read more…]

Scriblerus Club, Entry One

I know that in my proposal I said I’d start my project in July, but I seem to have gotten a jump on it.  This may be due to a recently discovered figure skating program set to “Mack the Knife”, which led me to think of The Threepenny Opera, which led to The Beggar’s Opera, which led to the Scriblereans.  I decided to procure all the texts early, instead of waiting a week or two.  This turned out to be a good idea, as the Memoirs of Martinus Scriblerus, much to my surprise, is not available online for free, as are the other materials.  (Thank god for free shipping!)

[Read more…]

An Analysis of the Major Works of the Scriblerus Club

In the case of intelligence, like tends to attract like – intellectual powerhouses throughout history have sought out their peers in order to further their ideas.  Writing circles exemplify this attraction; in these literary think tanks, writers and scholars collaborate and develop their ideas. One of the more prominent examples of the writing circle concept is the Scriblerus Club of eighteenth century England.  The club, which boasted the likes of Jonathan Swift and Alexander Pope as members, served as incubator and birthplace of several notable works of satire.  What can these works tell about the group as a whole – their philosophies, their attitudes toward societal issues of the time?  An examination of the literary devices used within the members’ most prominent works, as well as of the targets of their satire, should prove enlightening.