Crusoe vs Quixote – naming our first release

We recently stuck our first go at our Roadmap up on the site. In there we talk about our first release. So I called it Robinson Crusoe.

Robinson_Cruose_1719_1st_editionI thought this was a good idea. A fitting idea even. I thought this because the idea was based on what I was sure was a fairly well understood fact. This release is the first Novlr release. Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe was the first novel.

But, had I been too hasty. Was Robinson Crusoe the first novel? I think I even wrote a philosophical essay once on the fact that novel writing and its basis in realism was a unavoidable consequence of the Protestant work ethic, Calvinism and all that shenanigans. I don’t think I even convinced myself, so I won’t be linking to that marvel of an undergraduate essay. However, it was still clear to me that I was working off the basis that it was the first novel – that wasn’t in question.

But, now I feel a little silly. A quick look at Wikipedia put my assertion in doubt. Don Quixote is a definitely a novel. At least I think so. So years of that piece of knowledge just sitting in my brain are now over and it has been replaced. It feels a bit like when someone steals your cup at work and you get a new one. You like the new one too, but there was something nice about the old one.


And the winner is…

In the end, we decided to stick with Robinson Crusoe because we thought the idea of a man on an island with few tools but managing to survive was a metaphor we liked for our first stripped down release. And perhaps Alonso Quixano’s charm wasn’t quite the right fit.


There is definitely more to come on the Robinson Crusoe release in coming weeks