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Robinson Crusoe (Anglais) Broché – 12 juin 2001

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I was born in the Year 1632, in the City of York, of a good Family, tho not of that Country, my Father being a Foreigner of Bremen, who settled first at Hull: He got a good Estate by Merchandise, and leaving off his Trade, lived afterward at York, from whence he had married my Mother, whose Relations were named Robinson, a very good Family in that Country, and from whom I was called Robinson Kreutznaer; but by the usual Corruption of Words in England, we are now called, nay we call our selves, and write our Name Crusoe, and so my Companions always call’d me.

I had two elder Brothers, one of which was Lieutenant Collonel to an English Regiment of Foot in Flanders, formerly commanded by the famous Coll. Lockhart, and was killed at the Battle near Dunkirk against the Spaniards: What became of my second Brother I never knew any more than my Father or Mother did know what was become of me.

Being the third Son of the Family, and not bred to any Trade, my Head began to be fill’d very early with rambling Thoughts: My Father, who was very ancient, had given me a competent Share of Learning, as far as House-Education, and a Country Free-School generally goes, and design’d me for the Law; but I would be satisfied with nothing but going to Sea, and my Inclination to this led me so strongly against the Will, nay the Commands of my Father, and against all the Entreaties and Perswasions of my Mother and other Friends, that there seem’d to be something fatal in that Propension of Nature tending directly to the Life of Misery which was to be-fal me.

My Father, a wise and grave Man, gave me serious and excellent Counsel against what he foresaw was my Design. He call’d me one Morning into his Chamber, where he was confined by the Gout, and expostulated very warmly with me upon this Subject: He ask’d me what Reasons more than a meer wandring Inclination I had for leaving my Father’s House and my native Country, where I might be well introduced, and had a Prospect of raising my Fortunes by Application and Industry, with a Life of Ease and Pleasure. He told me it was for Men of desperate Fortunes on one Hand, or of aspiring, superior Fortunes on the other, who went abroad upon Adventures, to rise by Enterprize, and make themselves famous in Undertakings of a Nature out of the common Road; that these things were all either too far above me, or too far below me; that mine was the middle State, or what might be called the upper Station of Low Life, which he had found by long Experience was the best State in the World, the most suited to human Happiness, not exposed to the Miseries and Hardships, the Labour and Sufferings of the mechanick Part of Mankind, and not embarass’d with the Pride, Luxury, Ambition and Envy of the upper Part of Mankind. He told me, I might judge of the Happiness of this State, by this one thing, viz. That this was the State of Life which all other People envied, that Kings have frequently lamented the miserable Consequences of being born to great things, and wish’d they had been placed in the Middle of the two Extremes, between the Mean and the Great; that the wise Man gave his Testimony to this as the just Standard of true Felicity, when he prayed to have neither Poverty or Riches.

He bid me observe it, and I should always find, that the Calamities of Life were shared among the upper and lower Part of Mankind; but that the middle Station had the fewest Disasters, and was not expos’d to so many Vicissitudes as the higher or lower Part of Mankind; nay, they were not subjected to so many Distempers and Uneasinesses either of Body or Mind, as those were who, by vi-cious Living, Luxury and Extravagancies on one Hand, or by hard Labour, Want of Necessaries, and mean or insufficient Diet on the other Hand, bring Distempers upon themselves by the natural Consequences of their Way of Living; That the middle Station of Life was calculated for all kind of Vertues and all kinds of Enjoyments; that Peace and Plenty were the Hand-maids of a middle Fortune; that Temperance, Moderation, Quietness, Health, Society, all agreeable Diversions, and all desirable Pleasures, were the Blessings attending the middle Station of Life; that this Way Men went silently and smoothly thro’ the World, and comfortably out of it, not embarass’d with the Labours of the Hands or of the Head, not sold to the Life of Slavery for daily Bread, or harrast with perplex’d Circumstances, which rob the Soul of Peace, and the Body of Rest; not enrag’d with the Passion of Envy, or secret burning Lust of Ambition for great things; but in easy Circumstances sliding gently thro the World, and sensibly tasting the Sweets of living, without the bitter, feeling that they are happy, and learning by every Day’s Experience to know it more sensibly.

After this, he press’d me earnestly, and in the most affectionate manner, not to play the young Man, not to precipitate my self into Miseries which Nature and the Station of Life I was born in, seem’d to have provided against; that I was under no Necessity of seeking my Bread; that he would do well for me, and endeavour to enter me fairly into the Station of Life which he had been just recommending to me; and that if I was not very easy and happy in the World, it must be my meer Fate or Fault that must hinder it, and that he should have nothing to answer for, having thus discharg’d his Duty in warning me against Measures which he knew would be to my Hurt: In a word, that as he would do very kind things for me if I would stay and settle at Home as he directed, so he would not have so much Hand in my Misfortunes, as to give me any Encouragement to go away: And to close all, he told me I had my elder Brother for an Example, to whom he had used the same earnest Perswasions to keep him from going into the Low Country Wars, but could not prevail, his young Desires prompting him to run into the Army where he was kill’d; and tho’ he said he would not cease to pray for me, yet he would venture to say to me, that if I did take this foolish Step, God would not bless me, and I would have Leisure hereafter to reflect upon having neglected his Counsel when there might be none to assist in my Recovery.

I observed in this last Part of his Discourse, which was truly Prophetick, tho’ I suppose my Father did not know it to be so himself; I say, I observed the Tears run down his Face very plentifully, and especially when he spoke of my Brother who was kill’d; and that when he spoke of my having Leisure to repent, and none to assist me, he was so mov’d, that he broke off the Discourse, and told me, his Heart was so full he could say no more to me.

I was sincerely affected with this Discourse, as indeed who could be otherwise; and I resolv’d not to think of going abroad any more, but to settle at home according to my Father’s Desire. But alas! a few Days wore it all off; and in short, to prevent any of my Father’s farther Importunities, in a few Weeks after, I resolv’d to run quite away from him. However, I did not act so hastily neither as my first Heat of Resolution prompted, but I took my Mother, at a time when I thought her a little pleasanter than ordinary, and told her, that my Thoughts were so entirely bent upon seeing the World, that I should never settle to any thing with Resolution enough to go through with it, and my Father had better give me his Consent than force me to go without it; that I was now Eighteen Years old, which was too late to go Apprentice to a Trade, or Clerk to an Attorney; that I was sure if I did, I should never serve out my time, and I should certainly run away from my Master before my Time was out, and go to Sea; and if she would speak to my Father to let me go but one Voyage abroad, if I came home again and did not like it, I would go no more, and I would promise by a double Diligence to recover that Time I had lost.

Revue de presse

“Beyond the end of Robinson Crusoe is a new world of fiction. Even though it did not know itself to be a ‘novel,’ and even though there were books that we might now call ‘novels’ published before it, Robinson Crusoe has made itself into a prototype . . . Perhaps because of all the novels that we have read . . . the novelty of Defoe’s fiction is the more striking when we return to it. Here it is, at the beginning of things, with its final word reaching out into the future.” –from the Introduction by John Mullan

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Format: Broché
De très loin la meilleure édition de ce roman: enfin des notes éclairantes, typographie respectée, introduction précise et précieuse. Que demander de mieux? Davantage de notes?
Remarque sur ce commentaire 4 personnes ont trouvé cela utile. Avez-vous trouvé ce commentaire utile ? Oui Non Commentaire en cours d'envoi...
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Le thème de la "robinsonnade" n'est pas nouveau ; on a retrouvé un conte sur ce sujet rédigé plus de trois mille ans avant J.-C. Toutefois, le nom même du thème, et son personnage phare sont hérités de l'oeuvre magistrale de Daniel Defoe. Un classique du genre, qui n'est pas aussi centré sur l'action qu'on pourrait le croire. Puritain, Defoe s'intéresse beaucoup à la notion de Providence, à la punition échue à ceux qui s'opposent à l'ordre divin. L'ouvrage est beaucoup plus subtil qu'il n'y semble dans notre conception courante ; pourtant, la rédaction à la première personne, avec annonces de la suite pour créer un effet de suspense, et l'insistance sur ces thèmes-clés pour l'auteur, donnent une forme de naïveté générale.

La lecture en anglais ouvre de nouvelles perspectives. Ecrit dans une langue claire et simple, on saura gré à l'auteur d'avoir limité un maximum les dialogues où fourmillent les abréviations difficiles à lire. Le vocabulaire spécialisé n'est guère éloigné du nôtre, aussi les paragraphes consacrés à la navigation ne sont-ils pas aussi rébarbatifs qu'on pourrait l'attendre. Je recommande la lecture autant aux passionnés de Robinson qu'aux apprentis linguistes, qui apprécieront de lire un classique abordable. Bonne lecture !
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The original Robinson Crusoe story is said to have been told by an old sailor in a dark bar in Bristol, and said to be his own. Daniel Defoe heard closely and used it to inspire his novel. Modern authors (like French Le Clezio) made their versions a lot shorter, simpler, well, for kids. Defoe's work is of another dimension, much closer to reality.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.1 étoiles sur 5 535 commentaires
4.0 étoiles sur 5 The first and best escapist novel 27 juin 2016
Par Dr. Morbius - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
I had never read Defoe's novel until recently. I found it surprisingly well written (very readable to this 21st century reader) and engaging. There are moments when Defoe gets bogged down with Crusoe's journal entries, but I had no idea of the other adventures in the novel that preceded the shipwreck made famous in subsequent retellings in the movies and children's abridgements. It remains a watershed escapist novel as well as a survival manual. Readers will also be surprised that the novel weaves in an ongoing "inner examination" of the castaway's spiritual/religious life as it changes over time and circumstances.
223 internautes sur 237 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 WARNING: This is NOT the original text 27 janvier 2011
Par Joshua Q - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
Defoe helped to define the modern fictional novel when he wrote about the tales of Robinson Crusoe. The book has a strong religious theme, as was Defoe's intention. However, this version of the text censors out some of the language against what Defoe called the Papist Church (or the Roman Catholic Church) as well as some items which would be considered racially insensitive today (but leaving in much of it as well). I don't understand why this version leaves out some of those parts, as they completely change the story that Defoe intended. I'm not sure that Amazon knows these texts are censored (not the original) as there is no allusion to it in the book's description.

3.0 étoiles sur 5 I especially like how it gave me a view of the importance ... 11 août 2016
Par Amazon Customer - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
I thought it was very interesting, I especially like how it gave me a view of the importance of Jesus Christ in that time of history in peoples lives. Quite a bit different from today.I thought it also gave me a good picture of the dangers of traveling by sail in that Time of history. I found or thought that the author drag it out a little toward the end.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Interesting Historical Viewpoint, Inspirational Story 5 octobre 2006
Par Eagle Eye - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
I finished this a couple months ago and really enjoyed it. If nothing else, this classic is historically interesting for revealing the worldview of a 17th-century Englishman. The world was far more interconnected even in that day that we might imagine. Crusoe's forays into Portugal, Morocco, Africa and Brazil speak to that.

I came away with a greater appreciation for the problem solving skills, critical thinking, creativity, and physical strength that pre-modern humans had to draw on daily. As moderns, most of us plop ourselves in front of the computer screen or televsion and lead a comparatively easy life.

The inspiration in this story is Crusoe's ability to find the positive in any situation. He starts out grumbling about his isolation on the island, and his dim prospects for any rescue. He comes to see though, that he alone was saved from drowning in the shipwreck. So he comes to appreciate the very fact of life. He also comes to appreciate how he has been provided for, and that the simple things in life are most important. He comes to an increasingly deepening awareness of and faith in God. One of the only items salvaged from the ship was a Bible. Crusoe's thoughts on God and his interaction with the biblical text show how central religious faith was to the author, and the pride of place it held in most Europeans' lives at that time.
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Rejuvented version of a classic that was showing it's age... 9 mars 2002
Par Reader - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
The DK Classics series is a great introduction to the a good range of classic books. Having been raised as a purist, I was a bit uncertain about giving abridged versions of the classics to our kids, but re-reading some of the originals reminded me why some of these classics are loosing their shine- becoming historical artifacts, rather than living, engaging stories. Robinson Crusoe is a prime example of this- although it is nearly an icon as a storyline, it was very much a product of it's time & place, and the world has definitely moved on! But with DK's always-excellent sidebars, giving historical perspective and making the text tangible, and a rather good abridgement, the story becomes possible even for youngish readers. Reviewers who have complained about it being long, slow, overly moralistic or religious should have a go at the unabridged version!
The best thing about this Robinson Crusoe- as well as The Three Musketeers and The Odyssey from the same series- is that our kids really enjoyed them, and are building a good background in writings that have shaped so much of how we view the world. Perhaps they'll read the originals one day- almost certainly in a literature class- and if so they will start with a good understanding of the work.
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