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Myths of Modern Individualism: Faust, Don Quixote, Don Juan, Robinson Crusoe
by Ian P. Watt
In their original versions, the ultimate fates of Faust, Don Quixote, and Don Juan reflect the anti-individualism of their time: Faust and Don Juan are punished in hellfire, and Don Quixote is mocked. The three represent the positive drive of individualism, which brings down on itself repression by social disapproval. A century later, Defoe's Robinson Crusoe embodies a ...more
Paperback, 312 pages
Published October 26th 2002 by Cambridge University Press
(first published February 23rd 1996)
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Watt is making an argument by juxtaposition, but I think it works in this case. My only issues are that I wish he had looked at change over time more historically and that I wish he had included more works that depict the "new myth" in the eighteenth century outside of Robinson Crusoe.