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Memoirs of the Extraordinary Life, Works & Discoveries of Martinus Scriblerus: Written in Collaboration by the Members of the Scriblerus Club: John Arbuthnot, Alexander Pope, Jonathan Swift, John Gay, Thomas Parnell, and Robert Harley, Earl of Oxford

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Rich with hilarious episodes, Scriblerus is an ingenious satire of false learning and bad taste that has much to say to the pseudo-intellectual world of today. By taking one ambitious father and his determination to do everything in his power to produce a child of genius, Pope exposes the true folly of the men of his age and their absurd veneration of the ancients. As this Rich with hilarious episodes, Scriblerus is an ingenious satire of false learning and bad taste that has much to say to the pseudo-intellectual world of today. By taking one ambitious father and his determination to do everything in his power to produce a child of genius, Pope exposes the true folly of the men of his age and their absurd veneration of the ancients. As this hallowed child grows into a man, it becomes clear that instead of being the scholar his father so desired, he is simply the inevitable offspring of a laughable generation of pseudo-intellectuals and literati.


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Rich with hilarious episodes, Scriblerus is an ingenious satire of false learning and bad taste that has much to say to the pseudo-intellectual world of today. By taking one ambitious father and his determination to do everything in his power to produce a child of genius, Pope exposes the true folly of the men of his age and their absurd veneration of the ancients. As this Rich with hilarious episodes, Scriblerus is an ingenious satire of false learning and bad taste that has much to say to the pseudo-intellectual world of today. By taking one ambitious father and his determination to do everything in his power to produce a child of genius, Pope exposes the true folly of the men of his age and their absurd veneration of the ancients. As this hallowed child grows into a man, it becomes clear that instead of being the scholar his father so desired, he is simply the inevitable offspring of a laughable generation of pseudo-intellectuals and literati.

30 review for Memoirs of the Extraordinary Life, Works & Discoveries of Martinus Scriblerus: Written in Collaboration by the Members of the Scriblerus Club: John Arbuthnot, Alexander Pope, Jonathan Swift, John Gay, Thomas Parnell, and Robert Harley, Earl of Oxford

  1. 5 out of 5

    Nikos Tsentemeidis

    Ένα δοκίμιο του Alexander Pope (1688-1744), του μεγαλύτερου ποιητή της εποχής του, κατά τον Βολταίρο, ο οποίος ήταν μέλος μιας πολιτικοποιημένης λέσχης μαζί με τον Jonathan Swift (Τα ταξίδια του Γκιούλιβερ). Μια σημαντική προσθήκη στην ελληνική βιβλιογραφία.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Justin Evans

    A charming Rabelasian squib, which also looks forward to Tristram Shandy, only written by a bunch of fabulous people instead of one fabulous person. The first few chapters (very proto-Shandyan) are satires on The Learned Man who has no idea what he's doing, and could be of interest to those who dislike mansplaining; Cornelius Scriblerus' advice to his wife and wet-nurse on the art of breast-feeding is particularly hilarious. We all know that guy, although our version of 'that guy' is probably le A charming Rabelasian squib, which also looks forward to Tristram Shandy, only written by a bunch of fabulous people instead of one fabulous person. The first few chapters (very proto-Shandyan) are satires on The Learned Man who has no idea what he's doing, and could be of interest to those who dislike mansplaining; Cornelius Scriblerus' advice to his wife and wet-nurse on the art of breast-feeding is particularly hilarious. We all know that guy, although our version of 'that guy' is probably less well read. There then follow the Rabelasian chapters on Scriblerus' education, in which he and his punning friend Crambe raise hell (the bad, and some very good, puns are combined with corpse humor) and pronounce on themes anatomical ("Ocular demonstration... seems to be on your side, yet I shall not give it up") with some asides against the eighteenth century editor/critics and on themes metaphysical (with rips on both Descartes and materialists). Finally, and less easy to get through, parodies on popular romance (in which Scriblerus discovers the love of his life, one of conjoined twins who share one set of sexual organs), then a parody of the legal profession (is Scriblerus a bigamist? an adulterer?) and finally some Swiftian nonsense, not as funny as Swift's own works, which ends the book on a down note. But wildly entertaining otherwise.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    It's obviously tricky for a 21st century reader to really grasp 18th century satire. I thought I was in for a lengthy read when this book arrived, but discovered most of the book is just notes explaining the inside jokes of the text. Like reading a Stephen Colbert book 100 years from now. There was still a lot I enjoyed, even without jumping back and forth to the notes. The introduction of a father who is determined to employ every means to raise his son to become a man of the arts on par with th It's obviously tricky for a 21st century reader to really grasp 18th century satire. I thought I was in for a lengthy read when this book arrived, but discovered most of the book is just notes explaining the inside jokes of the text. Like reading a Stephen Colbert book 100 years from now. There was still a lot I enjoyed, even without jumping back and forth to the notes. The introduction of a father who is determined to employ every means to raise his son to become a man of the arts on par with the Great Latins would make a set-up for any modern comedy. He is constantly thwarted, of course. Some of the jokes run a little strange. Martinus' fight with some kind of ape is comical and bizarre. Then there's a trial over the legal definition of vagina ownership.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Ellinor

    Witty at first, but the description of how Martinus Scriblerus is educated by his Father gets tedious after a few pages.

  5. 5 out of 5

    George

    A mock, satirical biography with some inventive comic sketches. It is a novella published in 1741, written by a number of writers of the time, collated and finalised by Alexander Pope. The over the top father has high hopes of having a genius for a son named Martin. The father provides Martin with a most thorough education in order to be a great critic! We follow Martin's life, his birth, infancy, schooling, diet, his works, loves and marriage. The notes provide the reader with a greater appreci A mock, satirical biography with some inventive comic sketches. It is a novella published in 1741, written by a number of writers of the time, collated and finalised by Alexander Pope. The over the top father has high hopes of having a genius for a son named Martin. The father provides Martin with a most thorough education in order to be a great critic! We follow Martin's life, his birth, infancy, schooling, diet, his works, loves and marriage. The notes provide the reader with a greater appreciation of the authors satirical intentions. An interesting, humorous read.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Craig

    Pope reveals the ludicrous nature of relying on ancient knowledge when its application is used without one's own critical thinking for time, place, and context. Humorous yet subtle and satisfying. Pope reveals the ludicrous nature of relying on ancient knowledge when its application is used without one's own critical thinking for time, place, and context. Humorous yet subtle and satisfying.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Monty Milne

    The satire is a lot more accessible than, say, "Tale of a Tub." The mockery of the legal profession is still pertinent (alas). The text itself is relatively brief and not difficult, although the edition I read had hundreds of pages of explanatory notes. This is a rather delicious irony, when one considers that it was written in mockery of pedantry and academic pettifoggery....I enjoyed it a great deal, although like all compilations, some parts are better than others. The passage about the enthu The satire is a lot more accessible than, say, "Tale of a Tub." The mockery of the legal profession is still pertinent (alas). The text itself is relatively brief and not difficult, although the edition I read had hundreds of pages of explanatory notes. This is a rather delicious irony, when one considers that it was written in mockery of pedantry and academic pettifoggery....I enjoyed it a great deal, although like all compilations, some parts are better than others. The passage about the enthusiasm of Martin's father for a worthless shield, and his annoyance when his maid cleans the rust off it (revealing that what he took for an ancient warrior's erection is actually the head of a nail) reminded me so forcefully of my own brother (an archaeologist whose enthusiasm for antiquity sometimes outstrips the evidence of common sense) that I laughed out loud. And as for the complications that ensue when our hero falls in love with one of a pair of Siamese twins....

  8. 4 out of 5

    Mkfs

    Another in the vein of The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman or Augustus Carp, Esq. By Himself Being The Autobiography Of A Really Good Man. It has its moments. Another in the vein of The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman or Augustus Carp, Esq. By Himself Being The Autobiography Of A Really Good Man. It has its moments.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Martin

    Not terribly unreadable, and not altogether boring and trying, and quite Rabelaisian, and quite a surprise enjoyment on the 1,001 Books to Read list. I suppose it's to be expected, considering satire to be an acquired taste, but in the hands of many masters, it's actually not untriumphant a piece of literature. Not terribly unreadable, and not altogether boring and trying, and quite Rabelaisian, and quite a surprise enjoyment on the 1,001 Books to Read list. I suppose it's to be expected, considering satire to be an acquired taste, but in the hands of many masters, it's actually not untriumphant a piece of literature.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Tarah Luke

    #1001books #488left This was interesting and very Candide-like, but not as long and therefore not as developed. Martin’s adventures are alluded to only and not detailed, which would have made this better I think.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    This book was delightful. There were points where I actually laughed out loud, which, needless to say is rare.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Isabel (kittiwake)

    The authorship of this book is somewhat confused, as it came out of an early 17th century literary club. The cover of my copy has the author as Alexander Pope, the title page has Pope and John Arbuthnot as joint authors, and Peter Ackroyd's Foreward says "A great part of this work may confidently be ascribed to Arbuthnot, but the voices of Pope and of Swift are also to be found here". It is a satire on the pretentiousness of higly-educated people whose learning seems to have made them foolish rat The authorship of this book is somewhat confused, as it came out of an early 17th century literary club. The cover of my copy has the author as Alexander Pope, the title page has Pope and John Arbuthnot as joint authors, and Peter Ackroyd's Foreward says "A great part of this work may confidently be ascribed to Arbuthnot, but the voices of Pope and of Swift are also to be found here". It is a satire on the pretentiousness of higly-educated people whose learning seems to have made them foolish rather than wise. Cornelius Scriblerus is so enamoured of the Ancient Greeks that he endeavours to raise his son Martinus like an Ancient Greek, to the despair of his wife. He even forbids Martinus from playing any children's games that weren't also played in Ancient Greece. Martinus grows up as foolish as his father, but there is one piece of foolishness that does not seem so foolish in the early 21st century, his method of investigating latent distempers by the sagacious qulity of setting-dogs and pointers, as it has been found that dogs can smell some types of illness and predict epilectic seizures. It was amusing enough to read once, but I won't be keeping it to re-read.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Dawn

    A biting satire on the intellectual fads of the 18th century. The authors rip apart antiquarianism, ignorant scientists, scholarly rhetoric, metaphysics, popular romances and the legal profession. It is a fast read, but its humor is impossible to appreciate without an explanation of the famous people fads (like collecting antiques and using the rust/dirt to justify the provenance). Chose a modern edition with and introduction and explanatory notes. The best part is the last sentence of the book: A biting satire on the intellectual fads of the 18th century. The authors rip apart antiquarianism, ignorant scientists, scholarly rhetoric, metaphysics, popular romances and the legal profession. It is a fast read, but its humor is impossible to appreciate without an explanation of the famous people fads (like collecting antiques and using the rust/dirt to justify the provenance). Chose a modern edition with and introduction and explanatory notes. The best part is the last sentence of the book: "Wherefore we want the public to take particular notice of all such as manifest any indecent passion at the appearance of this work as persons most certainly involved in the guilt." I wonder if that taunt caused Richard Bentley or John Woodward (owner of the infamous shield) to hold back any of their vocal criticism.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Harry Burnside

    I note the average score for this tome is 3.8 so I will concede that I am not as intelectual as others as my one star confirms that I found the whole narrative hard going and for a work decribed as comedic I didn;t find and humour in ot at all. Having read a couple os Swift's novels before this I couldn't find any genius in the work. I feel like the little boy who no matter what everyone else says I can see the king has no clothes on. Simple, or is it me. I note the average score for this tome is 3.8 so I will concede that I am not as intelectual as others as my one star confirms that I found the whole narrative hard going and for a work decribed as comedic I didn;t find and humour in ot at all. Having read a couple os Swift's novels before this I couldn't find any genius in the work. I feel like the little boy who no matter what everyone else says I can see the king has no clothes on. Simple, or is it me.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Christina Packard

    Not enjoyable to read. With as many notable authors, I can understand at the time it was written this may have been something, but I am surprised at how they thought creating this story. I did not read all the Whys of how this was written, and so do not understand the importance of what they wrote and made this a story of importance.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Steven Brand

    an excellent 18th century sarcastic romp, reminds me of the humorous tone of Tom Jones.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

    Okay the version I read: wasn't this, it was a version from 1950's with no ISBN, so I got as close as I could. There were 3 sections to this book. 1) Introduction this was 86 pages long; 2) the actual story started on 87 and was 86 pages long also; 3) last section notes and appendices started on 173 and went all the way to 387 (which was an index after that). The book was long, boring and imho overrated. Okay the version I read: wasn't this, it was a version from 1950's with no ISBN, so I got as close as I could. There were 3 sections to this book. 1) Introduction this was 86 pages long; 2) the actual story started on 87 and was 86 pages long also; 3) last section notes and appendices started on 173 and went all the way to 387 (which was an index after that). The book was long, boring and imho overrated.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sayed Hassan

  19. 5 out of 5

    Frederick

  20. 4 out of 5

    Rachel B.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

  22. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie Bridge

  23. 4 out of 5

    Maila Hoshi

  24. 5 out of 5

    Nikhil Diwakar

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sheikh Tajamul

  26. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

  27. 5 out of 5

    Micky Smith

  28. 4 out of 5

    AK

  29. 5 out of 5

    Echo

  30. 5 out of 5

    icaro

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