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张在新

John Zaixin Zhang

 
 
 

日志

 
 

Christian/Savage, White Self/Black Other in Robinson Crusoe (Update)  

2010-09-28 22:14:55|  分类: +十八世纪英国小 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Zhang, John Zaixin. Notes on Robinson Crusoe

Christian/Savage, White Self/Black Other in Robinson Crusoe

Robinson Crusoe, Norton

3. Preface: religious application to the instruction of others; wisdom of Providence; a just history of fact – ironic

5. the middle state

6. against father’s will

7. ill – judgment of heaven; body/mind/medicine; id against superego

8. a repenting prodigal; spiritual autobiography

8. a capful of wind – undermines his prayers to God and reflections; natural phenomena as signs?

9. a terrible storm

10. would be nothing, like the first; problems of sign reading – How to determine if a thunderstorm is the wrath of God?; actively doing sth to save himself; “Preface” – wise men, to combat Providence but still want to instruct others: leak – pump – logical preventive measure; danger – gun shot as a signal of distress for help (man’s invention to save himself rather than waiting for deliverance)

11. had hardly eyes to look up

12. killed the fatted calf, to welcome the return of the Prodigal son – religious theme to instruct

14. clothes – gentleman; illness not visitation from above

15. father’s prophetic discourse; reduced to slave, hand of heaven

16. escape, my method; fog – compass to overcome danger; no signs from above – deliverance by himself

17-8. his own method, contrivance – fish on his hook, won’t pull them up

22. value of the dead lion – skin

23. barbarian coast, savages; lance – “throw them a great way” – spatial; weapons as an extension of body to overcome limitations of body tied up to space; the unconscious of the capitalist middle-class man – footloose seafaring Crusoe’s id against the superego (father’s warning/Providence), to travel, to colonize, to overcome the limitations of body rooted in space/geography – more powerful technology, weapons, ships (technological advancement), capitalism/imperialism/colonialism

24. power over space - natives hear the gunshot - women stark naked, ; sex, skin color, not gender but color that is threatening lack

26. possessions to Captain for deliverance as favors to be settled in monetary terms – trading; selling the boat and Xury as a trade-in for favors (under his value)

29. my own agent of misery against God’s will and fate

31. fancy / reason

32. shipwreck

33. God’s mercy before “shipwreck” (miscalculation in the crew’s decision to desert the ship), stuck in sand; destruction with our own hands

34. “shipwreck” - life boat turned over

35. secularize God’s mercy as mercy of a judge or the law; replacing Providence with human laws

36. dreadful deliverance (mixed feelings); survival depends on himself

37. if we had kept on board, we would have been safe; provisions in the ship dry (irony) – Summerset Maugham’s “Appointment in Samarra”

40. first gunshot on island; fowls screaming – modern tech to conquer island

43. money on board (irony); save himself in time before the “wrecked” ship is gone; use-value over the exchange value of money

44. his own method for survival occupies his whole attention; proper or improper storytelling, objective?

49. in writing (about evil vs. good) to “master my Despondency” for comfort; contradictions in the Evil vs. Good list (last item under Good undermines the second claim)

52. journal writing – factual style – truth as tainted objectivity (writing can’t be factual/direct - the journal is discredited at the start); same fact but no irony (that part has been filtered out) and added thoughts (those not conceived in “reality” the journal represents); writing to emphasize time (dates), history, to represent the history of travel across space (the novel itself) - space as the origin of history/time

56. Jan. 3 – mixing writing of the journal with fact/reality? – factual writing as fact or representation as reality?

57. corn – Providence

58. nothing but what was common (miraculous vs. common: room for debate); compared with the beginning of the journal, with “reality” as contrast, as yardstick to measure the validity of journal writing, but no “fact” or “reality” to compare with here – the truth claim about history in the “Preface” is undermined - the impossibility of checking the sources of the “fact” represented by writing

64. dream: father figure, superego, morality

65. Providence/common sense (Principles of Nature); no divine knowledge; reflections or part of journal? (no clear sign of stepping outside the journal) – spear to kill me in dream; superego

66. “works” for my preservation and supply; corn – something miraculous (the hand of God) removed, impression raised from it wore off; similar case with the initial impression of the earthquake; sick - justice of God; inside/outside journal?

67. “to take off the chill or aguish Disposition of the Water” – one of the four humors/fluids (corresponding four elements: air, fire, water, earth) in medicine - end of reflections on the Journal - end of reflections on the Journal

68. God governs everything

69. tobacco / Bible; tobacco to downplay the healing power of the Bible

70. renewed medicine all the three ways (not just one)

73. king and lord of all this country (legit claim?); natural law, state of nature; 74. grapes spoiled

80. make a parrot speak

86. reduced to a state of nature

87. parrot says its own name; first spoken word

88. my design for making earthen vessels

97. ink is out

112. footprint; presence of other (mirror image of self)

113. confidence in God vanished; God’s sovereignty restored

114. may be omissions in storytelling

115. his own footprint – undercuts his repentance; his own shadow; chimera (monster, illusion); footprint and his own not a match; savage’s footprint/self - self imagined as and in the other (white/black)

115-8. my design to defend myself – regrets he didn’t rely on God for moral support (Providence downplayed)

119-20. savage scene – degeneracy of human nature

122. destroy monsters in their cruel bloody entertainment; kill them (aware of his own cruelty?)

123. savagery determined by Providence (unchecked by Providence)

124. savages eat people – sin? natural for them for ages; God’s Providence – leave them unpunished - Not murderers any more than Christians were criminals – barbaric/civilized - sin as opposed to the Light that characterizes the act as sin, which is also non-sin in the absence of the Light

125. deliver myself; “national punishments” by God; innocence relative (See 168 for national crimes): Why not execute God’s justice? Human will – individual choice, performance; self as agent to act according to his own sense of morality

131. sight of fire on the shore – fear

133. wants to kill savages

134. problematic nature of sign reading: stock signs of God’s wrath; not so afraid of a gunshot; anticipation of punishment from above is answered by a gunshot – a possibility of deliverance to him, although to the crew of the ship a signal of distress (meaning of sign reading unstable)

143. Providence suspended; project (of his own), Nature (his natural physique) threw him into sleep

144. smiling upon a savage in dream to escape – needs a savage – rejects dream as divine prophecy – self-preservation; make peace with his conscience

146. frightened to see a savage run his way; part of dream coming to pass; nature, Providence to save savage

147. savage much frightened at me as at the other two savages (before gunshot) – contest of power over space to legitimize colonialism

148. playing on male fantasy projected onto female/other (decapitation, hole in the savage’s body); ambivalence toward steel sword and wooden swords; gunshot – geographical distance astonishes Friday; his limited notion of space (spatial lack) – inferiority in weaponry (to conquer space)

148-9. Friday’s appearance – close to white standard; naturalized as if born with it; Ambivalence toward Friday’s appearance and later morality disrupts mainstream racial discourse inherent in Crusoe’s abhorrence toward cannibalism

149. “master” – my name; discourse to characterize the relationship (speech act, performative language); Friday – for memory of the time (saving the “savage”); “Friday” as a perpetual reflection of white supremacy (time) “carved” on black face (space) - embodied in Friday's face

150-1. clothing – status (body, space), spatial strategies

151. white/black equally good; better use of morality than we do – undermines spatial strategies – weapons, door, ladders for elastic control of space, of the other – extend space for self, block and deny other’s access to space travel

152. sinning against Light in the absence of Light (no law by which to judge their “wrong doing” – who are we to judge savages for cannibalism?

153. gun as expansion of space and power; worship me and my gun; race and power tied up together (colonization), as extension of body across space – gun as fetish Crusoe is proud of (to ward off “castration threat” from the other, Friday), as the imaginary phallus to fill the lack of the other – Friday desires the “phallus”/gun

156. Friday’s religion – all, good or bad, go to Benamuckee eventually; Benamuckee lives but a little way off and cannot hear people (power of the true God extends to an infinitely greater geographical distance) – Benamuckee’s spatial limitation – greatness measured in spatial terms

157. imprint right notions in Friday’s mind

158-60. divine relation ? the Gospel ? Word of God ? the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ – transcendental signified as a self-reflecting signifier (written in the Gospel), no external signified/referent

160. Knowledge of God, and of the doctrine of salvation by Jesus Christ, in the Scripture – all truth (as signified/referent)

161. savages save white men, who live in their country; never eat anyone but prisoners of war

162. Friday “enlightened” – dissemination of Christian values

164-5. division of labor – mind(Crusoe)/body(Friday) (see 178)

168. If a call from God, then Crusoe will act (to kill savages) – how would he know it’s a call from above?

169. in the name of God to kill savages – a call from God or racial/religious bias - How would the Spaniard read Crusoe’s “mission” to kill the savages to save him? How did Friday read Crusoe’s “mission” to kill the other savages to save him? Rescuing attempts like these can be read as a call from God (from the Spaniard’s point of view) or a mission in the name of God (masked behind it is Crusoe’s racial/religious bias)

171. 21 killed to save the Spaniard – killing spree justified?

172. moved to see F’s filial affection

174. Crusoe, king; 3 subjects

178. hierarchy – C, S, and F and his father, based on the division of labor: mind/body (see 164-5)

181. Friday: whites are going to eat men; eat/murder

184. two conditions to save captain

196. captain calls Crusoe governor

219. my new colony in the island

220. women – commodities; Brazilian and English women

blurring the boundary of self/other

-         white/black

-         Crusoe/footprint (mirror image)

-         Christian/savage

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