Michel Tournier’s Friday, or The Other Island: Rewriting Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe with Lacanian Signifiers  

AWEJ for Translation & Literary Studies, Volume 4, Number2. May  2020                                   Pp. 91-104
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.24093/awejtls/vol4no2.7

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Michel Tournier’s Friday, or The Other Island: Rewriting Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe with
Lacanian Signifiers

Waad Al-Zoubi
Department of English Language and Literature,
Faculty of Foreign Languages
The University of Jordan, Amman, Jordan

Mohammad Shaheen
Department of English Language and Literature,
Faculty of Foreign Languages
The University of Jordan, Amman, Jordan

 

 

 Abstract:
The paper aims to demonstrate that Tournier’s Friday or the Other Island rewrites Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe within the context of the postmodern Lacanian psychoanalysis. The paper illustrates how literature shifts colors to match the surrounding environment. Defoe’s expresses the mode of thought of the Enlightenment that operates as a prelude to Western ethnocentricity, and Colonialism. It narrates the story of the unified conscious individual who has a solid faith in the efficiency of reason to understand objective reality. Such a perspective believes that language transparently represents an actual state of the world. Hence, Defoe’s adapts Realism as the mode of representation. Tournier modernizes the classical text to fit into the postmodern cultural context, which doubts the certainty of knowledge, introduces the notion of the split subject, and believes that language mediates reality. Tournier tells of the anecdote of the Lacanian split subject whose experience alternate among the registers of the Symbolic, the Imaginary, and the Real. Therefore, anti-realism is Tournier’s style of representation. It adapts figurative language as a variety of the signifier to demonstrate that language is an independent entity that constructs subjectivity, reality, and the text. To advocate humanism, and tolerance Tournier utilizes Lacanian insights of the split subject, the uncertainty of knowledge, and meaning.
Keywords: anti-realism, Lacan, Robinson Crusoe, signifier, Tournier

Cite as: Al-Zoubi , W., & Shaheen, M.  (2020). Michel Tournier’s Friday, or The Other Island: Rewriting Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe with Lacanian Signifiers.  Arab World English Journal for Translation & Literary Studies 4 (2) 91-104.
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.24093/awejtls/vol4no2.7

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