Voices of the Self in Daniel Defoe's Fiction: An Alternative Marxist Approach (Anglo-Amerikanische Studien / Anglo-American Studies #5) (Paperback)
The alternative Marxist approach to literary criticism in the present study consists of three vocal modes of interpretation: the public voice, the private voice, and the homeless voice of the self. The public voice represents the authorial vision shaped by dominant ideology that covers up the objective real, while the private voice corresponds to the authorial conscious or unconscious insertion into radical ideology that turns the objective real into the ideological real. However, the homeless voice of the self may obliterate any ties with history and ideology. A representation of the Marxist particular interest of the self, the homeless voice echoes in the open space of the text and reaches for the distant real shaped by the reader's interpretive paradigms inside or outside the constraints of the institutional discourse. The alternative Marxist approach values both history and theory in literary criticism, as the interplay between the two may reinforce and supplement each other in their shared interpretive territory of the private voice of the self in the text, although the public voice is more oriented towards history and the homeless voice towards theory. The different voices of the self are exemplified in a critical reading of Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe, Captain Singleton, Moll Flanders, and Roxana. Such a study profits from both modern critical theory (reader response, postmodernism, and feminist theory, etc.) and historical insights into Defoe's fiction (religious hermeneutics, theology and medicine, and gender issues in the eighteenth century, etc.)
The author: Zaixin Zhang was born in Hunan, China in 1957. He completed his doctoral dissertation on Defoe at Louisiana State University in 1991. His publications include essays on Defoe and Richardson. Currently a visiting scholar at the University of Paris-Sorbonne for the year 1992, he is continuing his studies on the eighteenth-century English novel.