Honors Presents: Dr. Ben Leubner - Robinson Crusoe and the Drama of Self-Isolation
- Thursday, October 8, 2020 from 5:00pm to 6:15pm
When Elizabeth Bishop wrote her poem, "Crusoe in England," in the early 1970s, she imagined a version of Daniel Defoe's famous castaway back at home in England, after a quarter-century of involuntary self-isolation on a desert island off the coast of Brazil. Bishop had just recently reread Defoe's novel and found it touching but also tedious and didactic. Her own work of "fan-fiction" is one in which she imagines the tale of Crusoe with these last two characteristics left out, and considers, too, the possibility that once Crusoe finally returned home he might have begun to miss his island fiercely, pining for the rugged, simple life he once lived there. The poem also functions as a veiled autobiography of Bishop herself, who in the 1950s and 1960s spent more than a decade and a half in Brazil before returning to the U.S., conflicted, now, as to just where "home" really was.Ben Leubner teaches in the English department and Honors College at Montana State University. He received his PhD in literature in 2009 from Northeastern University.
- Honors Presents Lecture Series