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.
Published by University of Delaware Press. Distributed worldwide by Rutgers University Press.
This volume of essays focuses on how poets approach reading as a notion and a practice that both inform their writing and their relationship to their readers. The nineteenth century saw a broadened and increasingly self-conscious concern with reading as an interpretive and political act, with significant implications for poets' individual practice, which they often forged in dialogue with other poets and artists of the time. Covering the 1830s to the late 1990s, a period rich in poetic innovation, the essays examine a wide range of authors and their diverse approaches to reading as inscribed in - and related to - creative writing, and articulate the many ways in which reading developed as an active engagement key to the critical thought that drove poetic creation at the dawn of aesthetic modernity. Joseph Acquisto is Professor of French at the University of Vermont. Adrianna M. Paliyenko is the Charles A. Dana Professor of French at Colby College, Maine. Catherine Witt is Associate Professor of French at Reed College, Oregon (USA).