In Their Original Versions, The Ultimate Fates Of Faust, Don Quixote, And Don Juan Reflect The Anti Individualism Of Their Time Faust And Don Juan Are Punished In Hellfire, And Don Quixote Is Mocked The Three Represent The Positive Drive Of Individualism, Which Brings Down On Itself Repression By Social Disapproval A Century Later, Defoe S Robinson Crusoe Embodies A Favorable Consideration Of The Individual, But Only If One Refuses To Take Seriously Defoe S Statement That Crusoe S Isolation Is Punishment For Disobeying His Father In This Volume, Ian Watt Examines These Four Myths Of The Modern World, All Created In The Sixteenth To Eighteenth Centuries, As Distinctive Products Of A Historically New Society He Shows How The Original Versions Of Faust 1587 , Don Quixote 1605 , And Don Juan Ca 1620 Presented Unflattering Portrayals Of The Three, Whereas The Romantic Period Two Centuries Later Re Created Them As Admirable And Even Heroic Robinson Crusoe 1719 Is Seen As Representative Of The New Religious, Economic, And Social Attitudes The Four Figures Reveal The Problems Of Individualism In The Modern Period Solitude, Narcissism, And The Claims Of The Self Versus The Claims Of Society None Of Them Marries Or Has Lasting Relations With Women Rather, Each Has As His Closest Friend A Male Servant Mephistopheles, Sancho Panza, Catalinon, And Friday Are Devoted Till The End And Happy In Their Subordinate Role The Perfect Personal Servant This Suggests The Self Centeredness Of The Four Figures Each Pursues His Own View Of What He Should Be, Raising Strong Questions About His Character As A Hero And Also About The Society Whose Ideals He Reflects. Watt is making an argument by juxtaposition, but I think it works in this case My only issues are that I wish he had looked at change over time historically and that I wish he had included works that depict the new myth in the eighteenth century outside of Robinson Crusoe.
- 312 pages
- Myths of Modern Individualism: Faust, Don Quixote, Don Juan, Robinson Crusoe (Canto original series)
- Ian P. Watt
- 23 September 2017 Ian P. Watt