My rating: 3 of 5 stars
The first time I read Robinson Crusoe, it was as a picture book for young readers. Crusoe was Nordic-looking and heavily bearded; Friday had shoulder-length hair and was quite grateful once he was no longer on a spit waiting to be dinner. Crusoe’s fur hat was quite memorable, as well. The thought of a woman on that island honestly had never crossed my mind – blame patriarchy if you will, or the speed of the turn-the-page-chimes on the record player, but a feminized version of the story was a novel thought.
There were parts of Coetzee’s work that I thoroughly enjoyed, particularly those on the island, the appearance of the “daughter”, and the attempts to let Friday speak through music. That said, my mind kind of switched off after Foe and Susan became lovers. Coetzee’s Disgrace remains one of the most pulverizing books I have ever read; Foe didn’t quite live up to its sister work, but it has made me want to read more: of both Defoe and Coetzee. Maybe that’s more than enough to expect from a desert island.
Midatlantic Musings by Jane G. V. McGaughey is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.