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Space in the TropicsFrom Convicts to Rockets in French Guiana$
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Peter Redfield

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780520219847

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520219847.001.0001

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Robinson Crusoe, Anthropology, and the Horizon of Technology

Robinson Crusoe, Anthropology, and the Horizon of Technology

(p.3) CHAPTER 1 Robinson Crusoe, Anthropology, and the Horizon of Technology
Space in the Tropics

Peter Redfield

University of California Press

This chapter illustrates Kourou's first development in the 1960s and the basic structure of the contemporary space center, laying the terminological and disciplinary groundwork on Robinson Crusoe. It discusses everyday problems of Crusoe's condition and his numerous adventures before arriving on the island, and discusses more after leaving; he was taken slave before he took his own, and found a plantation in Brazil before his fateful voyage. Crusoe marooned was a man painfully displaced. Yet he has, in some senses, always been so, a point worth underscoring. Crusoe, despite his taste for adventure, did not remain an explorer; he became, however unwillingly, a colonist. This condition separates his account from many earlier travel tales of adventurers and merchants, Odysseus to Sinbad. The explorer has come to rest, and in proving himself cosmopolitan, he reworked his body and soul: the island inspires Crusoe to his closest encounter with both spiritual anguish and the material conditions of life.

Keywords:   Robinson Crusoe, anthropology, adventures, colonist, cosmopolitan, fateful voyage

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