The German term Robinsonade refers to a fictitious narrative of often fantastic adventures in real or imaginary distant places or a story of the adventures of a person marooned on a desert island. This kind of story is derived from Daniel Defoe’s famous book The Life and Strange and Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe (1719). In a robinsonade, the protagonist is suddenly isolated from the comforts of civilization, usually shipwrecked or marooned on a secluded and uninhabited island and then he improvises the means of his survival from the limited resources at hand.
The word “robinsonade” was coined by the German writer Johann Gottfried Schnabel in the Preface of his 1731 work Die Insel Felsenburg (The Island Stronghold) which is a famous example of this genre.
Other notable examples of Robinsonade are Johann Campe’s Robinson der Jungere (1779-80) and Johann Wyss’s Der schweizerische Robinson (1812-27) which, as The Swiss Family Robinson, became a much-loved classic in Britain.
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