chapter  22
From the City of London to the Desert Island
Defoe and the writing of space and place
ByEmmanuelle Peraldo
Pages 9

The borders between space and place are constantly changing as the subjective view of places by people continues to shift. The island and the city live in Augustin Berque's understanding of the life of a landscape because of the connection they have with individuals. In A Journal of the Plague Year, the geographical approach by the milieu is omnipresent. The island could stand for the rural/ natural counterpoint to the city and be the natural level of landscape Berque was talking about, like a foil to show a pure pristine place as opposed to a place of debauchery and vice. The topophrenic activities or processes inevitably connect the interiority of the subject with the exteriority of the physical geography or social space. In Daniel Defoe's novels, the city is the physical environment par excellence which illustrates the rise of the individual and of individualism. London is Moll's island and Robinson's island is a recreation of London.