One isn’t supposed to judge a book by its cover; evidently one oughtn’t judge a book by its first four chapters, either. Now I’m on chapter eight – Robinson Crusoe has had an awakening of conscience and changed his outlook on life. How did I not see that coming? The book has gotten much more interesting altogether.
I wondered whether the American illustrator Howard Pyle had done any illustrations for Robinson Crusoe, as that would seem right up his alley. I can’t find evidence online that he had, but one of his students, N. C. Wyeth, made beautiful ones, above and below.
How Robinson Crusoe would _not_ have written a journal
And now it was that I began to keep a journal…indeed, at first I was in too much hurry… and my journal would have been full of many dull things; for example, I must have said thus: “30TH. – After I had got to shore, and escaped drowning, instead of being thankful to God for my deliverance, having first vomited, with the great quantity of salt water which had got into my stomach, and recovering myself a little, I ran about the shore wringing my hands and beating my head and face, exclaiming at my misery, and crying out, ‘I was undone, undone!’ till, tired and faint, I was forced to lie down on the ground to repose, but durst not sleep for fear of being devoured.
I laughed when I read this, reminded of my own college journals. I started Robinson Crusoe (the above is an excerpt from chapter 4) after reading a post about Daniel Defoe on the blog Interesting Literature. I had read the book, or at least some of it, in high school, and the only thing remembered about it was that I hadn’t liked it. It’s hard to like the character; he carries lots of guns, shoots animals without good reason, contemplates murdering and later sells a slave boy, and heads off to Africa planning to engage in slave trade. Good grief! He’s no Mr. Darcy for sure. But I’m determined to finish the book.