• “Secrecy, Sacrifice, and God on the Island: Christianity and Colonialism in Coetzee’s Foe and Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe.”

    Author(s):
    Jay Rajiva (see profile)
    Date:
    2017
    Group(s):
    Postcolonial Literature, TM Literary and Cultural Theory
    Subject(s):
    Jacques Derrida, J.M. Coetzee, Postcolonial literature, Deconstruction, South African literature
    Item Type:
    Article
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/yj6v-wb70
    Abstract:
    This essay argues that the tension in Coetzee’s reading of Robinson Crusoe springs from the exposure of the Christian secret in both the colonial enterprises of the characters and the authorial presences of Defoe and Coetzee. My argument draws on Jacques Derrida’s The Gift of Death, which outlines how Christianity tacitly incorporates (but does not destroy) older, non- Christian elements into its epistemic framework. Crusoe explicitly sets out to convert Friday to Christianity, and succeeds in that goal through the triumph of Christian tenets. However, the discourse between Friday and Crusoe on the worship of God offers a startling subversion of the Christian subject position. Foe widens this subversion through the non-presence of Friday, showing the work of colonial Christianity still in transition, convulsed by the repetition of what it is attempting to subordinate in secret: the non-Christian Other whose sacrifice cannot be openly be acknowledged.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    2 years ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved
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