Swift, Jonathan
(1667-1745)
   An Irish poet, writer, and political satirist who is probably best remembered for his book Gulliver's Travels. The description of the miniature and giant figures in this book, referred to as Lilliputians and Gulliverians, as well as the behavioural changes to which the Luggnag-gians fall prey, have been a source of interest to neurologists ever since the book's publication. The same holds true for Swift's own health problems. It is known that he suffered lifelong symptoms which included intermittent dizziness, nausea, and hearing loss. These symptoms are reminiscent of Meniere's disease and also of migraine-associated dizziness. During the last 3 years of his life Swift suffered from cognitive changes, memory impairment, personality alterations, a language disorder, and facial paralysis. Retrospectively, his final illness has been variously identified as Pick's disease, Alzheimer's disease, primary progressive aphasia, neurosyphilis, hydrocephalus, post-stroke depression, 'mental illness', and a variety of other disorders, all in keeping with contemporary biomedical insights. It has been speculated that the miniature and giant figures in Gulliver's Travels were inspired by *visual (i.e. *lilliputian and * gulliverian) hallucinations which Swift may have experienced himself. However, despite 250 years of retrospective diagnostics, the nature of his various illnesses is still uncertain.
   References
   Lorch, M. (2006). Language and memory disorder in the case of Jonathan Swift: Considerations on retrospective diagnosis. Brain, 129, 3127-3137.
   Swift, J. (1726). Gulliver's travels. London: Motte.

Dictionary of Hallucinations. . 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Swift,Jonathan — Swift (swĭft), Jonathan. 1667 1745. Irish born English writer known for his satirical works, including Gulliver s Travels (1726) and A Modest Proposal (1729). * * * …   Universalium

  • Swift, Jonathan — Swift, Jonathan. Es ist der Triumph, wie der Probierstein der wahren Dichterkraft, daß sie aus den verschiedensten Elementen, himmlischer Goldstufen wie irdischer Schlacken, aus Thränen und Windesbrausen nur eine einzige harmonische Landschaft… …   Damen Conversations Lexikon

  • Swift, Jonathan — born Nov. 30, 1667, Dublin, Ire. died Oct. 19, 1745, Dublin Irish author, the foremost prose satirist in English. He was a student at Dublin s Trinity College during the anti Catholic Revolution of 1688 in England. Irish Catholic reaction in… …   Universalium

  • Swift, Jonathan — (1667–1745)    Satirist and Churchman.    Swift was ordained into the ministry of the Church of Ireland and he rose to become Dean of St Patrick’s Cathedral in 1713. He took part in both the political and religious life of his time, but he is… …   Who’s Who in Christianity

  • Swift, Jonathan — (1667 1745)    Born in Dublin his father was a lawyer whose family had gone to Ireland after the Restoration he attended Trinity College and from 1689 to 1699 was secretary to Sir William Temple in Surrey. After Temple s death, Swift was ordained …   British and Irish poets

  • Swift, Jonathan — ► (1667 1745) Escritor británico. Representante típico de la crítica demoledora de su época. Autor de: La batalla de los libros (1704) y de los famosos Viajes de Gulliver (1726), sátira de la Inglaterra de la época y de la sociedad humana, y… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Swift, Jonathan — (1667 1745)    Satirist, was b. at Dublin of English parents. Dryden was his cousin, and he also claimed kin with Herrick. He was a posthumous child, and was brought up in circumstances of extreme poverty. He was sent to school at Kilkenny, and… …   Short biographical dictionary of English literature

  • SWIFT, JONATHAN —    born at Dublin, a posthumous son, of well connected parents; educated at Kilkenny, where he had Congreve for companion, and at Trinity College, Dublin, where he was a somewhat riotous and a by no means studious undergraduate, only receiving… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • SWIFT, Jonathan — (1667 1745)    English ANGLICAN theologian and SOCIAL satirist famous for his novel Gulliver s Travels (1726) …   Concise dictionary of Religion

  • Jonathan Swift — Nacimiento 30 de noviembre de 1667 Dublín Defunci …   Wikipedia Español

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