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The Age of SilverThe Rise of the Novel East and West$
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Ning Ma

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190606565

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190606565.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 07 March 2021

Caribbean to China

Caribbean to China

Crusoe’s Two Adventures

(p.139) 5 Caribbean to China
The Age of Silver

Ning Ma

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that the novels of Daniel Defoe represent not so much an “origin” as a belated response to global early modernities, and examines in this context the neglected second half of Robinson Crusoe, in which the protagonist travels to the East as a trader. The sequel’s pronounced anxiety toward Asian economic and technological advancements implicitly structures the trope of island survival and self-sufficiency in the book’s famous first part. Whereas Crusoe’s individuality combines capitalism and colonial elements in a fashion atypical of global narrative realisms during the Age of Silver, Defoe’s later works Moll Flanders and Roxana return to the social setting and present more complex treatments of the socioeconomic transitions of the period through the transgressive figure of the “fallen woman.” Overall, Defoe’s novels constitute one local variation of global literary shifts, rather than the unique embodiment of novelistic modernity.

Keywords:   Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe, capitalism, Age of Silver, Moll Flanders, Roxana, novelistic modernity

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