Jonathan Coe, Rory Bremner, Judith Hawley, Martin Rowson and author Sathnam Sanghera discuss contemporary satire in the light of Jonathan Swift’s legacy
Revered as one of the fathers of modern satire, Swift is one of our most enigmatic, ambiguous and disturbing writers. In a conversation chaired by the novelist Jonathan Coe, author of a new version of Gulliver’s Travels for eight year olds, the panel attempts to pick apart the contradictions in Swift’s political positions, and to consider his continuing relevance: can he be claimed either for the Left or for the Right, and can his ‘savage indignation’ still pack a punch, when modern political reality seems to outstrip satire at every turn?
Comedian and impressionist Rory Bremner is noted for his work in political satire.
Judith Hawley is Professor of 18th-century Literature at Royal Holloway.
Martin Rowson’s satirical cartoons appear regularly in The Guardian and the Daily Mirror. He is the author of a comic-book adaptation of Gulliver’s Travels.
Sathnam Sanghera is the author of Marriage Material: A Novel and The Boy with the Topknot: A Memoir of Love, Secrets and Lies in Wolverhampton.