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Whose Foot(print)?

An Analysis of Aspects of the Implied Worldview of Daniel Defoe’s ‘Robinson Crusoe’, Michel Tournier’s ‘Vendredi ou les Limbes du Pacifique’ and Stephen King’s “Survivor Type”

Johannes Wally


Pages 143 - 172



This essay attempts to develop a reading strategy by means of which aspects of the implied worldview of a literary text – especially a narrative text – can be systematically analysed. Taking Lotman’s notion of the world-modeling function of literature as its point of departure, the article argues that with regard to a given worldview topic such as ‘belief in God’ and the ‘essence of life’, a literary text is ultimately determined by an overriding hypothesis. It then applies this working assumption to a foundational work of the English novel, Daniel Defoe’s ‘Robinson Crusoe’, and to two twentieth-century re-writings, Michel Tournier’s ‘Vendredi’ and Stephen King’s “Survivor Type ”. The article concludes that the assumption of such a dominant hypothesis can indeed serve as a helpful tool in order to access and describe the ideological deep structure of narrative texts, although further testing is required.

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