184 • Man Friday’s Tale

184 • Man Friday’s Tale

The day I met Robinson Crusoe
He was halfway through ‘Émile’ by Rousseau,
An excellent book;
If you’ve not had a look
Then I strongly suggest you should do so.

Academics talk about ‘metachronic hyperagonism’ when an imaginary character is caught reading about another imaginary character, in fiction published a full generation after her or his own supposed lifetime (luckily we are not obliged to listen). I leave it to others to imagine in turn what Rousseau’s Émile was reading. Anyway, today is apparently the death-anniversary of Daniel Defoe. On publication, his pioneering ‘Robinsonade’ claimed to have been authored by its imaginary protagonist, which may also be metachronic hyperagonism (ie ‘self-referential bullshit’). Especially since Crusoe was really Kreutznaer in any case.

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