Gulliver's Travels and the Birth of Genre Fiction
Was Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) the first to dismiss conceptual fiction as a gimmick? The great critic, poet and lexicographer offered up this pithy assessment of Jonathan Swift's Gulliver’s Travels (1726). “When once you have thought of big men and little men, it is very easy to do all the rest.” Since Johnson's time, similarly curt brush-offs have been…
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