Crusoes and Other Castaways in Modern French Literature: Solitary Adventures

Crusoes and Other Castaways in Modern French Literature: Solitary Adventures

by Joseph Acquisto
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Crusoes and Other Castaways in Modern French Literature: Solitary Adventures by Joseph Acquisto examines the many ways in which the castaway, particularly in the form of engagement with Robinson Crusoe, has been reinterpreted and appropriated in nineteenth through twenty-first century French literature. The book is not merely a literary history of the

…  See more details below

Overview

Crusoes and Other Castaways in Modern French Literature: Solitary Adventures by Joseph Acquisto examines the many ways in which the castaway, particularly in the form of engagement with Robinson Crusoe, has been reinterpreted and appropriated in nineteenth through twenty-first century French literature. The book is not merely a literary history of the robinsonnade in France; rather, Acquisto demonstrates how what he calls the genre of “solitary adventure” becomes a vehicle for exploration of much larger questions about the reception of texts, modes of reading, and the relationship between popular and serious literary traditions. The heart of Crusoes and Other Castaways in Modern French Literature examines a crucial moment in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries when the history of cultural perspectives on reading and solitude intersect, catalyzing a reconsideration of Defoe’s tale. Acquisto’s philosophically inflected readings of works by writers from Rousseau to Balzac, Verne to Gide, Valéry to Tournier enhance intertextual and cultural approaches to the castaway myth and broaden our appreciation of the dynamic relation it has to modern French literature writ large.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

CHOICE
In the introduction to his innovative, intertextual study of the French castaway narrative, Acquisto (French literature, Univ. of Vermont) discusses the Crusoe story and its cousins from a French perspective, which deemphasizes a Protestant, imperial reading and the proto-colonial aspects of Crusoe's relationship with Friday. As Acquisto argues, the French tradition succeeds in turning the solitary adventure of the castaway into a heightened, attentive introspection, thereby transforming popular novels into serious works of art, and—most interestingly—narratives aimed at women and children into narratives intended for men. Beginning with Rousseau, the author traces the solitary adventure throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, in both poetry and prose. Jules Verne, Paul Valéry, André Gide, and Michel Tournier all receive extended, worthwhile attention. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above.
French Studies
Acquisto argues convincingly that in successive French rewritings from the nineteenth century to the present day the practical and essentially pragmatic concerns of Defoe’s hero are gradually infused with an exploration of the mental terrain of the protagonist. The castaway story is interiorized as the space of the remote island is metamorphosed into the space of the mind: experience becomes imaginative, activity becomes contemplation, and the voyage is transformed into the exploratory adventure of reading.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781611494068
Publisher:
University Of Delaware
Publication date:
10/16/2012
Pages:
282
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Joseph Acquisto, PhD is an associate professor at the University of Vermont, specializing in nineteenth and twentieth century French literature.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >