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Robinson Crusoe - 1

Lecture for FSTY on Robinson Crusoe, with notes on Defoe's life, movie and TV versions, and Crusoe's place in print culture.
by

Christopher Flynn

on 12 September 2012

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Transcript of Robinson Crusoe - 1

FSTY 1310
Global Film and Literature
12 September 2012 The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, of York, Mariner Born Daniel Foe, 1660 or 1661
Died 1731, Stoke Newington, London.
Religious dissenter
Entrepreneur
Journalist
Spy
Novelist Daniel Defoe Books
Films
TV shows
Video games
WTF? Robinson Crusoe in popular culture Michel Tournier, Vendredi, ou les Limbes du Pacifique/Friday (1967)
J.M. Coetzee, Foe (1986)
Derek Walcott, "Crusoe's Island," "Crusoe's Journal," "The Castaway" Modern answers to Defoe's Crusoe 1719 - first edition
1719 - Farther Adventures of Robinson Crusoe
1720 - Serious Reflections During the Life and Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe
More than 1,000 reprintings since first edition Publication history
of Robinson Crusoe 1720 - Captain Singleton
1720 - Memoirs of a Cavalier
1722 - Journal of a Plague Year
1722 - Colonel Jack
1722 - Moll Flanders
1724 - Roxana, or, the Fortunate Mistress Defoe's other novels "Rise" of the novel
"Romance" vs. "novel"
1719 - RC and Love in Excess by Eliza Haywood
Realism
"Abel Chevalley has, in his brilliant little manual, provided a definition, and if a French critic cannot define the English novel, who can? It is, he says, "a fiction in prose of a certain extent ('un fiction en prose d'une certaine étendue') ... We may perhaps go so far as to add that the extent should not be less than 50,000 words." E.M. Forster, Aspects of the Novel History of the novel "The first part of Robinson Crusoe is very good. - De Foe wrote a vast many things; and none bad, though none excellent, except this." - Alexander Pope, 1742.
"Since we must have books, there is already one which, in my opinion, affords a complete treatise on natural education ... Is it Aristotle, Pliny, or Buffon? No. It is Robinson Crusoe." - Jean-Jacques Rousseau, 1762.
"Crusoe himself is merely a representative of humanity in general; neither his intellectual nor his moral qualities set him above the middle degree of mankind; his only prominent characteristic is the spirit of enterprise and wandering." - Samuel Taylor Coleridge, 1818.
" ... [H]aving rescued a watch, a ledger, and pen and ink from the wreck, [Crusoe] commences, like a true-born Briton, to keep a set of books." - Karl Marx, 1848.
"The waves, the seamen, the sky, the ship--all are seen through those shrewd, middle-class, unimaginative eyes. There is no escaping him." - Virginia Woolf, 1932.
"The first English author to write without imitating or adapting foreign works ... is Daniel Defoe, father of the English novel." - James Joyce Famous writers on RC and Defoe "I am not superstitious; I have read a heap of books in my time; I am a scholar in my own way. Though turned seventy, I possess an active memory, and legs to correspond. You are not to take it, if you please, as the saying of an ignorant man, when I express my opinion that such a book as ROBINSON CRUSOE never was written, and never will be written again. I have tried that book for years—generally in combination with a pipe of tobacco—and I have found it my friend in need in all the necessities of this mortal life. When my spirits are bad—ROBINSON CRUSOE. When I want advice—ROBINSON CRUSOE. In past times when my wife plagued me; in present times when I have had a drop too much—ROBINSON CRUSOE. I have worn out six stout ROBINSON CRUSOES with hard work in my service. On my lady's last birthday she gave me a seventh. I took a drop too much on the strength of it; and ROBINSON CRUSOE put me right again. Price four shillings and sixpence, bound in blue, with a picture into the bargain." Wilkie Collins,
The Moonstone (1868) What does RC have in common with World War Z? Robinson Crusoe - what's the big idea? RC in TV and film
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