Actually I got the detail wrong - Robinson & narrator go in search of a
school related to the life of Edgar Allan Poe, the man of the people (of the
crowd), but instead come across the house where Defoe wrote Robinson Crusoe.
This discovery is enough to send Robinson into a deep depression so that he
hardly leaves his rooms for a month and stays up late reading.
So it's the paradox more sharply present - a satire.
Protestant only in R.Crusoe being a Protestant vision of isolation.
W.Benjamin identified with the 18thc. "man of letters" who was naturally
radical, because of his position "above publishing & money" - and in Sans
Soleil, the photographer who sends letters and film clips, is perhaps a kind
of "man of footage".
I was recently reading Ibn Tufail's (the 12thc philosopher and scientist)
Journey of the Soul, first trans. into English in 1708, 11 years before
Crusoe - the book is about a man (Hai Bin Yaqzan) who is either shipwrecked,
born from a tree, or spontaneously generated on the island (the island of
Waq Waq, a legendary island often mentioned in Arabic & Persian lit), where
he examines the world, his body, meets another person, has to kill an
animal, and contemplates Allah.
If Selkirk provided the inspiration, clearly Tufail provided the form - and
presumably (?) there's a tradition of philosophical romance here which is
nothing directly to do with tabula rasa, or later noble savages.
I didn't realise Armitage made a film - probably it annoyed Sinclair &
that's why he's so rude! Kees' Robinson is similarly unstable as Keiller's
is - the quote you pick out is telling. Robinson in an industrial world.