Books: Caliban and Crusoe II

FRIDAY by Michel Tournier (translated by Norman Denny). 235 pages. Doubleday. $4.95.

There is a fine Gallic impudence to the notion: take Robinson Crusoe, that age-of-reason parable of Western civilization's triumph over rude nature, and turn it upside down. In this position Crusoe's diligence, rationality, racial pride and Christian ethics—the very qualities that in Defoe's handling ensured Crusoe's survival—get lost while Crusoe accepts the "primitive" values of his black manservant. Call the book Friday to make the irony unmistakable. So much for Western civilization.

This is what French Novelist Michel Tournier has done....

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