Listen, Jena, I want to dig more into the scale of adventure. You know Daniel Defoe was sort of the father of the novel, but J.M. Coetzee's Foe goes after Defoe's best book, exploring the reasons we must tell stories, showing how details keep us speaking and listening.
Before Robinson Crusoe, every novel claimed, in their titles, to be true tales, the product of extensive interviews with some real hero. This is where the name "novel" comes from. These stories were novel, current, about someone you might meet on the street.
When Daniel Foe (he added the "de" himself to sound French) read such a novel about a man stranded on an island, he said to himself "I could do that, if only I had a shipwreck survivor to interview." He then had a realization: "I can just make everything up!" He did, and the novel Robinson Crusoe was published in 1719.
More than two centuries later J.M. Coetzee published Foe, a novel that explores the possibility that there actually was a Crusoe, and that another castaway, Susan Barton, lands on the same island as the old man. In this version, Crusoe has no interest in writing his story down, although Susan tries to convince him to. She wants all the details of how he survived. Desperate to loose his tongue, Susan tells him that without detail, every shipwreck becomes the same shipwreck.
This is the key to the novel and maybe the reason we still tell stories, though we've heard them all before. When our story matters most, we zoom in. Vladimir Nabokov said "caress the details." In our books and movies and conversations we insist that something in the details makes our story worthwhile. Our ship my wreck, Jena, but it'll break and buckle in a million little patterns, and it'll feel for a moment like the only ship, and the only wreck.