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The World Is Not Enough: Lists as Encounters with the “Real” in the Eighteenth-Century

Novel
Author(s): Dorothee Birke
Source: Style, Vol. 50, No. 3 (2016), pp. 296-308
Published by: Penn State University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5325/style.50.3.0296
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The World Is Not Enough
Lists as Encounters with the “Real”
in the Eighteenth-Century Novel

Dorothee Birke
AARHUS INSTITUTE OF ADVANCED STUDIES

ABSTRACT: The list plays a key role in the development of the eighteenth-century novel
as a self-consciously innovative form. In this essay I examine the function of enumer-
ations in two key texts, Aphra Behn’s Oroonoko and Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe,
where they not only produce a heightened sense of credibility and plausibility, but also
import contemporary systems of thought and stage interiority and negotiate the status
of the novel in relation to other types of text. The form of the list, I argue, is to be seen
as an instrument in a larger project of novelistic self-assertion.
KEYWORDS: novel, eighteenth century, realism, lists, Robinson Crusoe, Oroonoko

There is a key moment in Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey (1817) that revolves
around the introduction of a list into the plot. Catherine Morland, the excit-
able protagonist, has been invited to stay at the old Abbey, where she hopes
to find mystery and intrigue. Her wish seems to be granted when an investi-
gation of her bedroom brings to light a scroll of paper that has been shoved
into the back of a drawer:

Her greedy eye glanced rapidly over a page. She started at its import. Could it be
possible, or did not her senses play her false? —An inventory of linen, in coarse and
modern characters, seemed all that was before her! If the evidence of sight might be
trusted, she held a washing-bill in her hand. She seized another sheet, and saw the
same articles with little variation; a third, a fourth, and a fifth presented nothing new.
Shirts, stockings, cravats and waistcoats faced her in each. (Austen 249)

As Susan Wolfson points out in her notes to the Belknap edition, it is the
“hilarious mundanity” of the laundry list that creates a comic effect in this
scene. The listed items are everyday objects. Moreover, the form of the list

Style, Vol. 50, No. 3, 2016. Copyright © 2016 The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA

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Dorothee Birke 297

in itself is significant, as it presents a matter-of-fact enumeration rather than


the expected intriguing narrative. This double emphasis on ordinariness
resonates with the larger design of the novel. In the first chapter, Catherine
herself is already introduced as a plain character falling “miserably short of
the true heroic height” (70), and the narrator mentions all the spectacular
incidents that have failed to happen to her. The laundry list, in this light,
appears as a programmatic element: it signals the novel’s commitment to a
realist tradition of writing.
Austen’s incorporation of the list in Northanger Abbey, as I will show, has
a literary-historical dimension. It is a playful gesture toward a preoccupation
with the list in the earlier history of the novel. In the following, I will argue
that lists are central to the self-fashioning of the early novel as an innova-
tive phenomenon. Lists are featured in particularly conspicuous ways, and
they are instrumental in establishing a sense of heightened attention to
the details of the contemporary world. Their specific functions in the texts
are grounded in a general sense of the list as a mundane text type, as it is
described by Sabine Mainberger, who develops her poetics of the enumera-
tive against the reputation of the list as the epitome of the nonartistic or non-
literary (1). However, while an association with the mundane is a key element,
the employment of lists in these novels cannot be a­ dequately described as
entailing “mere description” or as reflecting a trivial m ­ aterialism—a charge
voiced, for example, in Virginia Woolf ’s attack on the realist novel.1
Ian Watt famously and controversially described the eighteenth-century
novel as “a new literary form” that was distinguished by what he calls “formal
realism”: a “set of narrative procedures,” based on

the premise, or primary convention, that the novel is a full and authentic report of
human experience, and is therefore under an obligation to satisfy its reader with
such details which are presented through a more largely referential use of language
than is common in other literary forms. (33)

Watt’s influential description of the eighteenth-century “rise of the novel”


as connected with larger social and historical developments has since been
severely criticized, in particular for assigning the responsibility for the
development of the novel form to three writers and for ignoring relevant
influences from earlier centuries.2 However, the fact that the first half of the

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298 Style

eighteenth century saw the proliferation of a kind of prose writing that was
regarded as innovative by both authors and audiences has time and again
been convincingly linked to a cluster of features that were shared in different
combinations by many of these works. In a ten-point list, John Paul Hunter
(23–25) sums up these features. He mentions contemporaneity (“novels are
fundamentally stories of now”), credibility, and probability (“readers are
given the sense that things happen in the fictional world according to laws
that are essentially like those governing the everyday world they themselves
experience”). Further points are familiarity and everyday existence as well as
a focus on individualism and subjectivity (“a strikingly different awareness
of the process of thought and feeling that affect individuals in relation to
their world”). Maybe most importantly, he lists a self-referential element: the
inclusion of self-conscious claims to innovation and novelty. As I will argue,
the form of the list plays a key role in producing these characteristics. In my
case studies, I will substantiate this claim by examining the conspicuous use
of enumerations in two works that are often regarded as milestones in the
early history of the English realist novel, Aphra Behn’s Oroonoko and Daniel
Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe.

R EGI STER I NG CR E D IBILIT Y A N D CON T E MP O R AN E I T Y


I N OR OON O KO

The function of the list in suggesting credibility, probability, and contempo-


raneity is already prominently visible in the work by an author who has been
described as one of the major pioneers of the novel form (see, e.g., Spencer):
Aphra Behn, whose short prose work Oroonoko, or, the Royal Slave: A True
History was published in 1688. Oroonoko tells the story of an African prince
who is brought to the South American colony of Surinam as a slave. Before
his background is described, however, the first-person narrator embarks on
an introduction of the relationship between the British colonizers and the
native population:

But before I give you the Story of this Gallant Slave, ’tis fit I tell you the manner
of bringing them to these new Colonies; for those they make Use of there, are not
Natives of the place: for those we live with in perfect Amity, without daring to
command ’em; but, on the contrary, caress ’em with all the brotherly and friendly
Affection in the World; trading with them for their Fish, Venison, Buffilo’s, Skins,

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Dorothee Birke 299

and little Rarities; as Marmosets, a sort of Monkey [. . .]: and Cousheries, a little Beast
in the Form and Fashion of a Lion, as big as a Kitten [. . .]. Then for little Parakeetoes,
great Parrots, Muckaws, and a thousand other Birds and Beasts of wonderful and
­surprizing Forms, Shapes, and Colours. For Skins of prodigious Snakes, of which
there are some threescore Yards in Length; as is the Skin of one that may be seen
at his Majesty’s Antiquaries: Where are also some rare Flies, of amazing Forms and
Colours, presented to ’em by my self; some as big as my Fist, some less; and all of
various Excellencies, such as Art cannot imitate. Then we trade for Feathers, which
they order into all Shapes, make themselves little short Habits of ’em, and glorious
Wreaths for their Heads, Necks, Arms and Legs, whose Tinctures are unconceivable.
I had a Set of these presented to me, and I gave ’em to the King’s Theatre, and it was
the Dress of the Indian Queen, infinitely admir’d by Persons of Quality; and were
uninimitable. (8–9)

At first glance, it might seem merely an odd choice to begin the narrative
with such an elaborate list (only partly included here), which does not con-
tribute to introducing any of the characters or their backgrounds. However,
the enumeration of animals and animal products native to Surinam and
traded in by the British is more than just a digression from the central narra-
tive concerns. It can also be read as signaling what kind of text this will be,
how it aims to address its audience, and what its main concerns are going to
be. The conspicuous position at the beginning of the work reinforces these
functions.
First of all, the list imports some of the conventions of travel accounts into
the fictional narrative. By way of her itemization of animals and objects, the
narrator presents herself as an expert on the foreign country’s culture, thus
suggesting the credibility of her account. Like the British traders themselves,
the list captures the “wonderful and surprizing” elements of the exotic locale
and presents them for inspection and consumption. As she collates, orders,
and relays knowledge about the foreign country, the narrator asserts her
role as a mediator between Britain and Surinam. While on the one hand,
the exotic character of the objects described is stressed, the narrator on the
other acts as a cultural translator. Specifically, this is suggested by the fur-
ther descriptions and explanations of particular items (“Marmosets, a sort of
monkey”) as well as by the use of the pronoun “we,” which presents the nar-
rator as both witness and participant in the process. She further emphasizes
her personal perspective by moving from general descriptions of classes

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300 Style

of objects that “we trade” to a particular object that is connected with her
­personal trajectory as a traveller (“I had a Set of these presented to me, and
I gave ’em to the King’s Theatre”). In foregrounding the process of cultural
assimilation and translation, the list signals contemporaneity. The narrator’s
role as an expert is combined with the suggestion of an authenticity that
stems from lived experience: references to first-hand experience function as
claims to subjectivity and individuality.
Key themes that figure in the novel as a whole are already touched
upon in the list: British colonialism and trade, as well as the political
and ethical questions that they raise. It has been argued that Surinam
in the novel “­represents the hazards, violence and complexities of the
seventeenth-­century’s emergent system of mercantile capitalism,” and
that the British in the novel “treat African slaves as commodities in order
to produce other commodities for an increasingly global marketplace”
(Rosenthal 152). The list, one could say, evokes another part of the trade
triangle—the exports from the colony back to England—and presents it as
a framework through which life in the colony is to be understood. In this
sense, the list itself can be understood as embodying the ideology of colo-
nialist economics. However, this does not necessarily mean that the novel
as a whole endorses this logic. As Margaret Ferguson has shown, Behn
playfully and carefully constructed “authorial ciphers” like the list-making
persona narrating Oroonoko.3 It is thus possible to read the novel not only
as criticizing the cruel treatment of the noble slave by the British author-
ities, but also as interrogating the narrator’s own more subtle investment
in the colonial enterprise. Indeed, if the narrator’s list-making activity is
considered as a performative process, the novel Oroonoko itself could be
seen as the implied final point on the catalogue of commodities: as the
cabinet which houses and makes accessible the described curiosities, or
as another souvenir produced in the course of British transactions in the
colonies and for consumption by the British public. Rosenthal argues
along these lines when she concludes that Oroonoko “exposes the impor-
tance of intellectual labour in the emergent mercantile economy” (164).
The list, then, not only introduces the novel as invested in credibility
and contemporaneity. It also imports contemporary political and economic
discourses into the text and foreshadows key issues. Moreover, the pointed
inclusion of subjective elements and the way in which the narrator inserts
herself into the list foregrounds the process of list-making itself and
raises questions about the ideological position of the ­enumerating subject.

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Dorothee Birke 301

ROBINSO N CRUSO E A N D T HE S IGNI F I C AN C E O F L I ST I N G


AS A D I EGET IC ACT

Many of the features that characterize the use of the list at the beginning
of Behn’s novel appear again and are developed further in Daniel Defoe’s
Robinson Crusoe (1719). John Richetti describes the novel’s pioneering role for
realist representation in terms of its particular attention to the details of the
material world: “Defoe renders for much of the narrative the force and feel of
Crusoe’s material and phenomenal world with an unprecedented density and
fine-grained immediacy and intricacy” (xvii). The list is one major way of pro-
ducing this “fine-grained immediacy.” The account of Robinson’s early days on
the island, in particular, is saturated with enumerations of the things he finds
in his new surroundings, and those he manages to salvage from the shipwreck:

I brought away several Things very useful to me; as first, in the Carpenter’s Stores
I found two or three Bags full of Nails and Spikes, a great Skrew-Jack, a Dozen or
two of Hatchets, and above all, that most useful Thing call’d a Grindstone; all these
I secur’d together, with several Things belonging to the Gunner, particularly two or
three Iron Crows, and two barrels of Musquet Bullets, seven Musquets, and another
fowling Piece, with some small quantity of Powder more; a large bag full of small
Shot, and a great Roll of Sheet Lead: But this last was so heavy, I could not hoist it up
to get it over the Ship’s Side. (97)

Similar accounts are given of stores of food, clothing, and other items. The
adventure of surviving on the island is thus circumscribed in mundane
terms; the details also chart the mechanics of providing food and shelter.
Moreover, the list suggests that in this kind of narrative, no deus ex machina
is allowed. In combination with details like the acknowledgement of phys-
ical limitations (Robinson’s inability to lift the lead roll), the meticulous
inventory of the things the protagonist has at his disposal serves to reinforce
the impression of plausibility. The focus on the everyday objects also func-
tions as a claim to eighteenth-century contemporaneity: Robinson’s island is
not a mythical faraway place, like the settings for romance, but represented
in relation to contemporary England.
As in Behn’s novel, the list in Robinson Crusoe is a means of importing
larger contemporary systems of thought. Various critics have pointed out links
between the different kinds of items catalogued by Robinson and economic
and political discourses. Wolfram Schmidgen focuses on the enumeration of

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302 Style

“moveable objects” (19), in particular those Robinson salvages from the ship.
For Schmidgen, both the focus on these things themselves and the represen-
tation of Robinson’s way of handling them reflect a “distinct moment [. . .] in
the long history of commodification” (20). This history is particularly notice-
able in the consecutive short journal entries listing the protagonist’s forays to
the wrecked ship and his collection of the objects. As Schmidgen argues, both
Defoe and his character show an attitude that is typical of mercantilism: “As
individual objects, things are not particularly interesting to Defoe; it is their
movement from one place to another that creates all the interest” (24).
Where Schmidgen highlights those lists that support “narratives of
­circulation” (loc. cit.), Pat Rogers foregrounds those that illustrate Robinson’s
focus on setting up his home. In an essay that has become a classic, Rogers
argues against seeing Robinson first and foremost as an entrepreneur: “In
fact, he behaves more like a good household manager—starting, that is, with
food, drink and clothing. It is true that he tends to itemize his stores rather
in the fashion of a warehouse inventory; but it should be remembered that
domestic manuals advised just such an approach to housewifery” (377). The
activity of list-making, as Rogers reminds his readers, is not just reminiscent
of contemporary discourses of accounting and trading, but also of house-
keeping—to him, Robinson is first and foremost a homo domesticus, and his
story “the epic of home-making” (390).
Krystal McMillen, in turn, focuses on the lists of foods collected and
hunted on the island to support the claim that rather than by his autonomy,
the protagonist is “characterized through his distinct dependence on the
­edibles of the island” (193). For her, the itemization of foodstuffs and, in
particular, the central role of the turtle as a comestible is used to negotiate
the ways in which Britain is globally enmeshed, “situating British subjects as
citizens of the world” (loc. cit.).
As these three examples show, lists can fruitfully be read as means of import-
ing a whole range of larger social discourses into the novel, thus expanding its
potential for world-making, to use Nelson Goodman’s term. In my view, it is the
elliptical character of the list that enhances this function in Robinson Crusoe.
Rather than explicitly contextualizing and anchoring Robinson’s preoccupa-
tions, the lists mimic them and thereby open up multiple possible connections
to extraliterary frames of reference. Robinson himself comments on the per-
meability of the different areas of experience that are involved in the context
of the famous “Description of Good and Evil,” a catalogue that juxtaposes the
positive and negative aspects of his condition and thereby combines religious

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Dorothee Birke 303

and economical thinking: “I stated it very impartially, like Debtor and Creditor,
the Comforts I enjoy’d, against the Miseries I suffer’d” (106).
Robinson’s comment here also illustrates another crucial aspect of the sta-
tus of list-making in the novel: it is represented explicitly as a mental process
on the part of the protagonist. The impression of “immediacy” Richetti reg-
isters is, I would argue, enhanced by the fact that the list is not just a means
for description used by Crusoe as retrospective narrating self. List-making
features as a process that is central to the life of the experiencing self, that
is, Robinson the man who is stranded on the island. Robinson Crusoe thus
foregrounds list-making as a meaningful diegetic activity.
The protagonist himself frames these activities in decidedly positive terms,
as helping him to find his bearings and give structure to an existence that has
otherwise become unmoored. By counting, enumerating, and stocktaking, he
seeks to assess his situation and exhort himself to take appropriate action:

I consulted several Things in my Situation which I found would be proper for me,
1st. Health, and fresh Water I just now mention’d, 2dly. Shelter from the Heat of the
Sun, 3dly. Security from Ravenous Creatures, whether Men or Beasts, 4thly. a View
to the Sea, that if God sent any Ship in Sight, I might not lose any Advantage for my
Deliverance. (100)

The medium of the list helps Crusoe to think about the “State of my Affairs”
in a systematic way, to “deliver my Thoughts from daily pouring upon them
[the affairs] and afflicting my Mind” (106). One product of the process in which
“my Reason began [. . .] to master my despondency” (loc. cit.) is what is prob-
ably the most famous and elaborate list in the book, the already-mentioned
“Description of Good and Evil” (loc. cit.), which pits a column of the negative
aspects of his condition against one that enumerates the positive side:

Evil. Good.
I am cast upon a horrible But I am alive, and not drown’d as all my
­desolate Island, void of all Ship’s company was.
hope of Recovery.
I am singl’d out and But I am singl’d out too from all the Ship’s
­separated, as it were, from Crew to be spared from Death; and he that
the World to be miserable. miraculously sav’d me from Death, can deliver
me from this condition. (loc. cit.)

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304 Style

The passage leading up to this list highlights the psycho-hygienic ­character


of the activity: one main purpose of drawing up the list is the comfort
Robinson derives from ordering his thoughts. This allows him to break the
cycle of endless brooding and arrive at a clearer assessment of his situa-
tion. Richetti proposes that the novel charts how Robinson “becomes master
of himself as well as the lord of his island” (xv). List-making appears as an
expression of the reason and determination allowing him to do so.
Nonetheless, the “Description of Good and Evil” is by no means the end
point of Robinson’s struggle with despair. The underlying operations of
ordering and assessing have to be repeated. As Richetti writes, “Defoe dra-
matizes his hero’s deep ambivalence about his life and identity, his confu-
sion, loneliness, sheer terror, self-loathing as well as growing self-knowledge
and religious awareness gained through introspection” (xv). Staging the
process of list-making serves not only to represent successful assertions of
reason and self-control, but also makes visible the anxieties and the effort
that propel it. Not least because of the sheer number of different list-making
processes that are represented, listing becomes a multifaceted instrument
for the psychologization of the protagonist.
It should be noted, of course, that Robinson’s exercises in rational
self-control have a dark side. Edward Said has described Robinson Crusoe
as a novel “about a European who creates a fiefdom for himself on a distant,
non-European island” (xii). This colonialist act of taking possession can be
seen as grounded in the protagonist’s focus on his own self. “The trajectory
of Crusoe’s colonial experience,” writes Brett McInelly, “is clear: master your-
self and you master your destiny; master our destiny and you master others;
master these and you master the economic contingencies of life.” (6). The
lists that chart Robinson’s systematic efforts to make use of every part of
the island are embedded into a larger narrative of self-discovery and self-­
assertion, which is staged by the representation of list-making as a complex
psychological process. In validating this interior narrative of development,
the novel also gives shape to a colonial mentality.
Besides the diversity of different items that are enumerated and the signif-
icance of list-making as an interior process, the third reason to look closely at
lists in the novel will be to note that they take a multitude of material forms.
Robinson’s process of mastering the island also involves developing exter-
nalized techniques of listing. The first of these is the installation of a basic
“Kalander” (104), a post on which he cuts a notch every day in order to keep

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Dorothee Birke 305

track of time and to be able, as he stresses, to distinguish “the Sabbath Days


from the working Days” (104). After he retrieves pen, ink, and paper from
the ship, Robinson starts to record the dates along with brief accounts of his
activities in his journal, which allows him to “keep things very exact” (105)
for as long as his ink lasts. The journal entries are not only mentioned, but
then also recorded in the text and marked on an extradiegetic level by their
appearance as a “formally organized block of information that is composed
as a set of members” (to use Robert Belknap’s [215] definition of the list as
a form):

Dec. 24. Much Rain all Night and all Day, no stirring out.
Dec. 25. Rain all Day.
Dec. 26. No Rain, and the Earth much cooler than before, and pleasanter. (112–13)

In a part of the novel, then, the journal is clearly set off from the rest of the
narrative as a different kind of text. By virtue of being presented as lists, the
journal entries are at first highlighted and characterized as records that were
created on the island itself, thus projecting a heightened sense of plausibil-
ity and contemporaneity. Subsequently, however, the journal entries become
longer and are seamlessly fused with the retrospective first-person narration.
This evolution from the basic list that records the number of days to elab-
orate narration suggests both an affinity and a contrast between the list and
the novel as text types. On the one hand, in the textual universe of Robinson
Crusoe the list is characterized as a kind of raw material. The insertion of the
journal entries, the interruption of the plot for the sake of long enumera-
tions of different kinds of objects: these suggest immediacy, a closer relation
to a pre-discursive reality of lived experience and material fact. The novel
Robinson Crusoe is, so to speak, displaying its own “listiness” as an asset,
a foundation on which the narrative is built. On the other hand, the novel
presents itself as encompassing and transforming the raw material of the
lists and thus as becoming more than the sum of its parts. The blending of
the journal entries into retrospective narration, in particular, suggests a pro-
cess of aesthetic transmutation.
The passage from Northanger Abbey that was cited at the beginning of
this paper can be read as a playful commentary on exactly this complex rela-
tionship between list and novel. Northanger Abbey, the passage suggests, is
rather like the laundry list in failing to fulfill expectations of sensational

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306 Style

reading, and instead focusing on faithfully rendering the minutiae of


­contemporary life. At the same time, however, the narrative design of the
bedroom scene appears as a contrast to the nonnarrative character of the list,
as it concentrates on the protagonist’s inner life and development and thus
aims at conveying “the most thorough knowledge of human nature,” as the
highest purpose of the novel genre is described elsewhere in the book (102).
As the readings of Oroonoko and Robinson Crusoe have shown, in the early
novel lists play a central role in importing empirical detail in order to create
what Ian Watt called “formal realism.” However, they cannot be reduced to
this function. One of the most striking results of an inquiry into the use of
lists in Robinson Crusoe is the sheer diversity of items listed—from objects
to activities to mental processes—as well as the interest in the physical and
cognitive manifestations of the process of listing itself. The close connec-
tion between list and character psychology is in line with newer discussions
of eighteenth-century realism, in particular by Maximillian Novak, who
stresses the central importance of explorations of interior processes in the
formation of eighteenth-century realism. A shift of attention from the list as
a fixed entity to listing as a process is thus one key to the significance of enu-
meration in the realist novel. The other important point is the way in which
the realist novel positions and utilizes the list as both a form and a non-form
(see von Contzen in “The Limits of Narration: Toward a Literary History of
Lists” in this issue). The list is treated as a form insofar as novel authors
employ itemization and decontexualization as ways to suggest an import
from outside the narrative’s own compass. It is treated as a non-form, in turn,
in that it is taken to represent unfinished raw material that is contextualized
and imbued with meaning only in the novel’s larger fictional narrative.
In sum, I propose to read the foregrounding of the list as part of a larger
project of novelistic self-assertion in the early eighteenth century: the fic-
tional narrative presents itself as a discourse which can engulf, and thus
both represent and reflect upon, other modes of ordering and mediating
social reality. It is in Robinson Crusoe that this self-referential function of the
list for the eighteenth-century novel is at its most conspicuous, and in this
sense this novel is a special case. However, the general tendency of using the
list as a form in order to suggest credibility, import contemporary systems
of thought, stage interiority, and negotiate the status of the novel as a text
type recurs throughout the eighteenth century. From Pamela’s recording of
Mr. B’s proposal of terms and her own answers as a catalogue, to Tristram

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Dorothee Birke 307

Shandy’s enumerative digressions, to the comic calculations of Frances


Burney’s Cecilia’s miserly guardian Mr. Briggs or the ridiculous fixation of
Austen’s Sir Walter Elliott on the Baronetage cataloguing the members of
English nobility, lists as motifs and methods are indispensable elements for
the novel’s exploration of contemporary realities.

dorothee birke is a research fellow at the Aarhus Institute for Advanced


Studies (AIAS). Her main interests are the relations between the contem-
porary and the eighteenth-century English novel, reception aesthetics, the
medial history of reading, and contemporary drama. Among her publica-
tions are a book on representations of memory crises in the contemporary
British novel (2008) and articles in Narrative, Studies in Eighteenth-Century
Culture and the Journal of Popular Culture. Her study Writing the Reader:
Configuration of a Cultural Practice in the English Novel is due to come out
from de Gruyter in summer 2016.

N otes
1. In “Modern Fiction,” Woolf launches an attack on the focus on objects and surfaces
in realist fiction, in particular by H. G. Wells, Arnold Bennett, and John Galsworthy: “If
we fasten, then, one label on all these books, on which is one word materialists, we mean
by it that they write of unimportant things; that they spend immense skill and immense
industry making the trivial and the transitory appear the true and the enduring” (105).
2. For a multifaceted assessment of Watt’s legacy in eighteenth-century studies, see the
contributions in the special issue of Eighteenth-Century Fiction, Reconsidering the Rise of
the Novel, edited by David Blewett.
3. Robert Chibka examines the history of discussing Oroonoko as a partly autobi-
ographical work.

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