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Specters of ConquestIndigenous Absence in Transatlantic Literatures$
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Adam Lifshey

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780823232383

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823232383.001.0001

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/ Castaway Colonialism: Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe and Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca's Account

/ Castaway Colonialism: Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe and Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca's Account

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(p.62) 3 / Castaway Colonialism: Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe and Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca's Account
Source:
Specters of Conquest
Author(s):

Adam Lifshey

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823232383.003.0004

Daniel Defoe published Robinson Crusoe in 1719, not long after Francisco Ximénez saw, copied, and translated the Popol Vuh in Guatemala. There is no direct connection between the two narratives, yet both manifest absence as a contestatory transatlantic phenomenon. With respect to Columbus's diary of his first voyage, Defoe's novel is further removed in time from it than from the Ximénez manuscript but closer in orientation due to its accounting of another European sailor who encounters unfamiliar land in the Caribbean. On the island in Robinson Crusoe there are no indigenes available immediately to conquer and it is the European who begins in a position of relative weakness, so it takes Crusoe longer than Columbus to incorporate subjects into empire.

Keywords:   Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe, Francisco Ximénez, Popol Vuh, absence, transatlantic, colonialism, Caribbean, Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca

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