I don’t remember when I first read Robinson Crusoe, probably in elementary school. I’m not sure if it was a short edition or not, but I remember it quickly became one of my favourites. I’ve been wanting to read it again, and today I finally got to start it.
I don’t remember many details of the story, but I remember his shack on a hill, its sea view, his fences, etc. But what stayed with me most was his surviving skills. True, he salvaged many tools from the shipwreck and he is way too comfortable of life for a guy who’s stuck on an island, but his will to overcome his problems is admirable. He constantly shapes his surroundings, makes himself safe by building a shack (more like a small fortress), hunts, makes a living for himself. He even learns how to farm, he has two cats and a dog, etc. He just doesn’t live in comfort over there, he builds that comfort. He survives.
And he survives not just physical threats, but also mental ones. True, his faith in God is not for my taste, but his ability to believe in something is remarkable. He constantly renews his faith by revisiting his belief system, challenging what he knows, true or false. He rebuilds his faith, sometimes from scratch.
He also builds a life for himself there. He appreciates his surroundings, explores the island while keeping his roots firmly on his settlement. He has a country house, he learns the craft by doing it. He spends weeks on crafting a table. Yes, I know, he lacks the tools, but it doesn’t stop him from doing it anyway. He knows he should have a table, so he builds one.
He’s also quite organised, builds shelves to store his belongings, organise them. He actually prides himself with it, enjoys to find something easily and fast. He’s quite a Virgo, isn’t he?
At the moment I’m at page 128 and I’m doing something I haven’t done in a while: I’m reading it in Turkish. It’s been so long that I’ve read a proper novel in Turkish, and I missed it. The words and sentences sound weird, because I so got used to reading in English, but I read fast in Turkish. I never realised that, it took me 30 pages every day when I was reading Anthony Ryan’s The Waking Fire even though it was a quite fun book, but I just read 128 pages in (almost) one sitting.
Robinson Crusoe is a big part of my childhood, a childhood that I’ve been a bit distanced from lately. I need to visit it more, go back to my roots.