1

In his best known book, History of Shit, Dominique Laporte mentions "Swift's Great Mystery" when listing pertinent literature (pp. 100-101):

The Biblioteca Scatalogica furnishes an impressive list of works, for the most part in Latin, published between the sixteenth and the nineteenth centuries. In the sixteenth century, we find the De excrementis, [...] followed, in order of publication, by Dissertatio de utilitate inspiciendorum ut signorum (1693), [...], Swift’s magestrial [sic] two-volume Great Mystery published in 1726,...

The year of publication seems to correspond with Swift's lifetime (indeed, Gulliver's Travels was published that same year), but I'm having a hard time finding which of his works (if anything) this is referencing. I'm not especially enthusiastic about reading it, but mostly wondering about Laporte's integrity -- does the Great Mystery actually exist?

2

Laporte must refer to The Grand Mystery: Or, Art of Meditating Over an House of Office, Restor'd and Unveil'd, published in 1726; whether this is to be attributed to Swift or to Edward Ward is apparently unclear. A modern reproduction is for sale online but I couldn't find any more information on this book.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.