"Satire and panegyric. Works in these genres often seem immensely important when they first appear, but their power begins quickly to fade when the individuals to whom the works refer begin to fade, and the evaporation of literary power continues" (Greenblatt 437).
"The footnotes in modern editions of these works can give us the names and dates that have been lost, but they cannot in themselves enable us to reconver a sense the stakes that once gave readers pleasure and pain" (Greenblatt 437).
I think both of these statements are entirely true. My first thoughts when I read this were on Gulliver's Travels and Animal Farm. In Gulliver's Travel's Swift was most likely trying to teach his reader's something about humanity at least according to some critics. He also wrote this story around the time that England wanted to abolish christianity. Although I can't find anything about England's reaction to Swift's Gulliver's Travels Orwell who had written Animal Farm had been influenced by Swift. Part of me believes that the only reason Orwell was influenced by Swift's writting was because he wrote a book that was influential during it's time because he wanted to make some political points. I'm sure that anyone that reads either of these works react as strongly as readers of the past would have, especially since they actually lived through the realistic aspects of the works. I had to read Animal Farm in high school in history, I knew what it meant but I hated it because it was a horrible story. Maybe if I had lived through the Stalin era I would have thought differently about this book.