Abstract

This essay contends that, in his penultimate Stella poem, Jonathan Swift endorses the redemptive power of language and of Christian liturgy in order to imagine his relationship with Stella as symbiotic. Swift not only invokes the Eucharist as a solution to the poem’s thematics of cannibalism but also exploits two formal issues that resemble that same ritual: lyric address and the distance between metaphor and identity. By linking content and form and by recasting dependency and predation as mutuality, Swift transcends the material and economical thinking he perceives as morally bankrupt; in effect, he transforms cannibalism into communion.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1522-9270
Print ISSN
0039-3657
Pages
pp. 585-604
Launched on MUSE
2014-08-18
Open Access
No
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