Posts Tagged ‘laputa’

81. Flappers

In “A Voyage to Laputa,” the third book of Gulliver’s Travels, Gulliver visits a flying island where the inhabitants “of better quality” are so preoccupied with their thoughts that they fail to take notice of their surroundings. To remedy that situation, each such inhabitant has been supplied with a “Flapper,” who carries a “blown bladder fastened like a flail to the end of a short stick.” With this device, the Flappers bring their masters’ wandering minds back to reality:

The Flapper is likewise employed diligently to attend his master in his walks, and upon occasion to  give him a soft flap on his eyes, because he is always so wrapped up in cogitation, that he is in manifest danger of falling down every precipice, and bouncing his head against every post, and in the streets, of  jostling others, or being jostled himself into the kennel.*

These same dreamers also “forget what they [are] about,” until their memories are “roused by their Flappers.” (more…)

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