English Literature
4 | 2017

English Literature
4 | 2017

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it

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chevron_right2385-1635

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Vol. 4 | Num. 1 | Dicembre 2017

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English Literature | 4 | 2017

Fears, Apprehensions and Conjectures
Suspense in Robinson Crusoe

Riccardo Capoferro
Sapienza Università di Roma, Italia
riccardo.capoferro@gmail.com

DOI 10.30687/EL/2420-823X/2017/01/007

Submitted 10 Set 2017
Accepted 11 Ott 2017

Abstract

The importance of Robinson Crusoe in the origins of the novel depends not only on its progressive plot and empirical style, but also on its pioneering narrative devices. Defoe’s work is characterised, in particular, by a new approach to the creation of suspense, considered by narratologists as one of the universals of narrative. This approach is based on a consistent, highly diversified use of hypothetical thinking. Crusoe’s emotionally charged previsions have the function of presenting possible plot developments, staging, and causing, the oscillation between fear and hope that is characteristic of suspense. Defoe’s work with suspense shows that epistemological change, in particular the rise of the modern notion of probability, had relevant implications also at the level of narrative discourse.

Keywords
Robinson Crusoe. Suspense. Curiosity. Hypothetical thinking. Probability. Narrative. Epistemology.

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License 

Sommario
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Campo DC Valore

dc.contributor.author

Capoferro Riccardo

dc.title

Fears, Apprehensions and Conjectures

dc.type

Journal Article

dc.language.iso

it

dc.identifier.uri

http://doi.org/10.14277/2420-823X/EL-4-17-6

dc.description.abstract

The importance of Robinson Crusoe in the origins of the novel depends not only on its progressive plot and empirical style, but also on its pioneering narrative devices. Defoe’s work is characterised, in particular, by a new approach to the creation of suspense, considered by narratologists as one of the universals of narrative. This approach is based on a consistent, highly diversified use of hypothetical thinking. Crusoe’s emotionally charged previsions have the function of presenting possible plot developments, staging, and causing, the oscillation between fear and hope that is characteristic of suspense. Defoe’s work with suspense shows that epistemological change, in particular the rise of the modern notion of probability, had relevant implications also at the level of narrative discourse.

dc.relation.ispartof

English Literature

dc.relation.ispartof

Vol. 4 | Num. 1 | Dicembre 2017

dc.publisher

Edizioni Ca’ Foscari - Digital Publishing

dc.date.issued

2017-12-18

dc.dateAccepted

2017-09-10

dc.dateSubmitted

2017-10-11

dc.identifier.issn

2385-1635

dc.identifier.eissn

2420-823X

dc.rights

Creative Commons 4.0 Attribution alone

dc.rights.uri

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

dc.subject

Robinson Crusoe

dc.subject

Suspense

dc.subject

Curiosity

dc.subject

Hypothetical thinking

dc.subject

Probability

dc.subject

Narrative

dc.subject

Epistemology

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