Comparative Literature, Postcolonial Theory and Transnational Aesthetics
Global Crusoe travels across the twentieth-century globe, from a Native American reservation to a Botswanan village, to explore the huge variety of contemporary incarnations of Daniel Defoe's intrepid character. In her study of the novels, poems, short stories and films that adapt the Crusoe myth, Ann Marie Fallon argues that the twentieth-century Crusoe is not a lone, struggling survivor, but a cosmopolitan figure who serves as a warning against the dangers of individual isolation and colonial oppression. Fallon uses feminist and postcolonial theory to reexamine Defoe's original novel and several contemporary texts, showing how writers take up the traumatic narratives of Crusoe in response to the intensifying transnational and postcolonial experiences of the second half of the twentieth century. Reading texts by authors such as Nadine Gordimer, Bessie Head, Derek Walcott, Elizabeth Bishop, and J.M. Coetzee within their social, historical and political contexts, Fallon shows how contemporary revisions of the novel reveal the tensions inherent in the transnational project as people and ideas move across borders with frequency, if not necessarily with ease. In the novel Robinson Crusoe, Crusoe's discovery of 'Friday's footprint' fills him with such anxiety that he feels the print like an animal and burrows into his shelter. Likewise, modern readers and writers continue to experience a deep anxiety when confronting the narrative issues at the center of Crusoe's story.
Title: Global Crusoe
Author: Ann Marie Fallon