Daniel Defoe in the Pillory


On this date in 1703 Daniel Defoe was placed in the pillory for seditious libel, but was pelted with flowers instead of garbage.

Frye in The Secular Scripture:

When the novel was established in the eighteenth century, it came to a public familiar with the conventions of prose romance.  It is clear that the novel was a realistic displacement of romance, and had few structural features peculiar to itself.  Robinson Crusoe, Tom Jones, Pamela, use much the same general structure as romance, but adapt that structure to a greater demand for greater conformity to ordinary experience.  This displacement gave the novel’s relation to romance, as I suggested a moment ago, a strong element of parody.  It would hardly be too much to say that, realistic fiction from Defoe to Henry James, is, when we look at it as a form of narrative technique, essentially parody-romance.  (CW , 79)

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