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We should let go of Robinson Crusoe

300 years Ago, Robinson Crusoe "appeared". The British author Charles Boyle explains why the hero of the title, a white Imperialist, is so problematic.

Interview of Theresa Hein Theresa Hein

Theresa Hein, born in 1990 in Munich, has decided to brief interruptions to other places of residence, the city and sit it out until it is again adorable. Studied comparative literature in Munich and London, the German school of journalism journalists trained, and since 2019, editor in the Department of culture and the media. Speaking of things you like, in exaggerated Form, and can also be difficult to persuade. Example: The absolute best end to the greatest film ever made, is the "Smoke" (1995) by Paul Auster and Wayne Wang.

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300 years Ago was published in Daniel Defoe's novel "Robinson Crusoe" in England for the first Time. Since then, he has appeared in multiple edits and cuts, was re-interpreted and rewritten. The British poet Charles Boyle stated in his book "Good Morning Mr. Crusoe", as the figure as the driving force of imperialism has used and recommends a more critical reading.

SZ: Mr Boyle, what made "Robinson Crusoe" to such a great success?

Charles Boyle: adventure stories were in the 18th century. Century very popular. Most of these texts, however, were based on facts. Daniel Defoe's fictionalized the story of the sailor Alexander Selkirks and gave her to the fact that he invented specific events, more life. Especially the story of how one ship survived, although fragile, on foreign territory that interested the reader. On the title page of the first edition of "Robinson Crusoe" also, Crusoe is the author of the story. The people thought from the beginning that Robinson was Crusoe real and these things really would have experienced. Defoe left the people in the Faith, and admitted only later to have invented it all. This Illusion contributed to the interest in the book, alone in the first year it was reprinted three Times.

The book has been edited in many variations and is particularly often as a children's book adapted. Why?

used The narrative as a pedagogical tool. The island was the Narrative ideal, because it treated values as self-reliance, stewardship of resources and trust in God. The teachers wanted the children, especially in the 19th century. Century, but also later, to inculcate. Rousseau called the book one of the most felicitous treatise on natural education ever written. And then there was the matter of history: A stranger sailors cultivated in an unknown country and an its inhabitants in subjection. This was wonderful in front of the cart of the British imperialism margins and the use as a pedagogical model-narrative to schools.

Why was Robinson Crusoe nevertheless, an exciting character?

He was born into a relatively wealthy family, yet he could hardly wait to experience his parents leave to go to the lake to ride and adventure. On the island he is to copy of a certain Englishman, he actually wanted to run away. He is also an Immigrant, and his father was German, and on the strange island he comes again, even as an Immigrant. The more interesting it is, how it behaves on the island and in front of the Black, the he makes to his servants.

The British poet Charles Boyle has a book on the 300. Birthday of "Robinson Crusoe" was published, in which he asks the plant.

(photo: Private)

These contradictions hardly anyone knows today, you are like the cuts to the victims.

In the simplified versions and those that were written for children, was often marked only the image of the heroic white man alone on an island. And of course this is anything other than helpful. It is contrary to the very complex issues with which one must be in dealing with the narrative in any case deal with: race, oppression, Gender, and colonialism. These issues will be taken up in the original text. The fact that Crusoe was as a plantation owner and a slave trader, and successful, was omitted in the simplifications convenient way. In this way, a slave trader who didn't think much of women, was the role model. That's why We Robinson should let go of Crusoe. Who simplified the history of facts and literature, as the British do, for example, with its role in the Second world war, or the character of Winston Churchill, rarely good. But the many Nations are making: - simplified stories of self-spread.

The book is often referred to as the "first English novel". They say, however, that it was literary rather weak. Why?

The book is not just written in a boring, very schwerfäl-digit rates, and the only I can see. Robert Louis Stevenson lamented the lack of style and vision in comparison to other major English novelists, E. M. Forster compared it with a manual for scouts. That is why so few people read today, the book. Much heavier weighs but what it was used. It has supported the narrative, and still does today, in order to support the daily claim to power of the white man. What also wanted to instill in the teachers the children, was: Trust God, work hard and you will not only be successful, but you'll also be able to have Power over other people's exercise.

What do you mean when you say we need to let go of Crusoe?

When I say that we should let go of Robinson Crusoe, I do not mean that no-one should read the book. Everyone can read what he wants. But we should pay homage to the Text as an unquestioned and to him the mighty Status in the literary Canon. This deference must be off, paralyzes you. We are locked in a Defoe-isolationism, which is a more open and explorativeren relationship with Others in the way.

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