The book is a study of the eighteenth-century English robinsonade, also known as desert island or castaway narrative. It discusses the pre-history of the genre, the complex multi-level semantics of «Robinson Crusoe», its role in introducing a new mode of meaning formation combining the conventions of the travel narrative, Providence book, and spiritual autobiography, as well as its functioning as a genre model for later authors. Another important subject is the subsequent process of robinsonade’s simplification by the gradual elimination of religious meanings and foregrounding the exciting adventures of the protagonists, turning it into a genre of children’s literature.
The English Robinsonade of the Eighteenth Century
English Utopian Fictions, 1516–1800
Or the Uses of Ideal Worlds
The book focuses on different uses of the concepts of utopia, dystopia, and anti-utopia. The author analyses literature, cinema, and rock music, as well as scientific and legal motifs in utopian fiction. He also considers the functions of Jewish characters in early modern utopias and looks at the utopian aspects of scientific claims of literary and cultural theories. Utopian models are also applied to the practice of literature (socialist realism) and current socio-political affairs. Among the texts and films discussed are "Utopia", "New Atlantis", "Gulliver’s Travels", "Memoirs of Signor Gaudentio di Lucca", "Nineteen Eighty-Four", "A Minor Apocalypse", "Lord of the Flies", and "Even Dwarfs Started Small".