ROBINSON CRUSOE, JULIEN SOREL, MATTIA PASCAL
FIGURE LETTERARIE ALLA NASCITA DELL’ANTROPOLOGIA MODERNA
The development of modern anthropology seen through the analysis of the three main characters of four great novels: Robinson Crusoe in The Life and Strange Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe(1719) by Daniel Defoe and Robinson Crusoe in Vendredi ou la vie sauvage of Michel Tournier (1967), Julien Sorel in Stendhal’s Le Rouge et le Noir (1830), and Il fu Mattia Pascal by Luigi Pirandello (1904). Defoe’s Crusoe is the solitary man who does not surrender to his ship’s wreck on his way to the New World and builds his salvation through ingenuity and the Bible: he is the prototype of the birth of the working middle class. Tournier’s Robinson (1967) is the uneasy survivor, in search of a new relationship with Nature. Julien Sorel is the ambitious and endowed young man whom the post-Napoleonic Restoration forces to choose between the two professions of obedience; the final tragedy shows society’s bottlenecks. Mattia Pascal endures a fictitious existence inside the bourgeois society at the beginning of the Twentieth century. Philosophical anthropology may well take advantage of the expressive power of a literary phenomenology.