February 27, 2017

March 14, 2013

Who knew?

Robert Louis Stevenson was a closet SF contributor.

I mean, you can hear the Hey and Haley in thoughts like,

“In the trash that I have no doubt you generally read, a vast number of people will probably get shot and stabbed and drowned; and you have only a very slight excitement for your money.  But if you want to know what a murder really is — to have a murder brought right home to you — you must read of one in the writings of a great writer. Read ‘Macbeth,’ for example, or still better, get someone to read it aloud to you; and I think I can promise you what people call a ‘sensation.’”


“Suppose you were to be asked to write a complete account of a day at school. You would probably begin by saying you rose at a certain hour, dressed and came down to morning school. You would not think of telling how many buttons you had to fasten, nor how long you took to make a parting, nor how many steps you descended.The youngest boy would have too much of what we call ‘literary tact’ to do that. Such a quantity of twaddling detail would simply bore the reader’s head off.”

or this Kennedyesque exposure of the emptiness of human works, including an appeal to Genevan commercial virtues,

“The famous buccaneers were lubbers and swabs, and downright dunces.  If you read a true account of these rogues you would be thunderstruck. Again and again they try to cross the Atlantic — what hundreds of decent, respectable merchant skippers do successfully every month — and again and again they lose their way, cannot find the trade-winds, and, from sheer block-headedness, suffer the last extremities of thirst and hunger.  All this sort of matter, the pirate story people quietly leave out; because ... it would not go down with the reader.”



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1 comment

Ah, very good, Fr. Tim!  You’ve successfully stirred up my interest in re-visiting the talented Scotsman’s writings.  smile

[1] Posted by Jill C. on 3-14-2013 at 07:42 PM · [top]

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