Ibn Tufail’s The Journey of the Soul is a novella which was written in the 12th century. Ibn Tufail was born in a town called Guadix near Granada and he was Ibn Rushd’s teacher who was a great philosopher. I think it is an extraordinary book. Many people see it as one of the inspirations behind Robinson Crusoe. There was a translation done of it from the Arabic into Latin just a few years before Defoe wrote Crusoe and there are various parallels between the two books.
It’s remarkable, isn’t it, how enduring and widespread that fascination is? We can see it today in the way that people still talk about Robinson Crusoe though it’s 300 years old, and in the way people listen to Desert Island Discs, and watch shows like Love Island.