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Umro Robert Louis Stevenson - povijest

Umro Robert Louis Stevenson - povijest


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Umro je škotski pisac Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson. Neka od njegovih boljih djela uključivala su Otok s blagom te dr. Jekylla i gospodina Hydea.

Umro Robert Louis Stevenson - povijest

Škotski autor Robert Louis Stevenson najpoznatiji je po romanu “Treasure Island ”, te po gotičkoj noveli "Čudan slučaj dr. Jekylla i gospodina Hydea", na kojoj se temelji naš nadolazeći londonski StoryTour. Evo deset brzih činjenica kako biste ga bolje upoznali!

Rani život
  • Stevenson je rođen u Edinburghu 1850. godine, a obiteljska profesija bila je dizajn svjetionika. Karijeru koju bi kasnije odbio da bi se umjesto toga bavio pisanjem.
  • Robert Louis Stevenson je kao dijete često bolovao od respiratornih bolesti. To ga je pratilo kroz život i rezultiralo time da je bio izuzetno mršav. Zbog kroničnog oboljenja, bio je privatno poučavan kod kuće tijekom dugog vremenskog razdoblja. Tada je počeo pisati priče. Njegov je otac bio iznimno ponosan na svoje pisanje i platio je Robertovu prvu publikaciju sa 16 godina, pod naslovom "Pentland Rising: A Page of History, 1666".
  • Stevenson je imao privremeni sukob s roditeljima nakon što je njegov otac pronašao pamflet u njegovoj sobi. Sadržavao je ustav Kluba slobode, pravde i poštovanja, čiji su članovi bili Stevenson i njegov rođak Bob. Ustav je započeo: “Ne zanemarujte sve što su nas roditelji naučili ”.
Fanny Van de Grift Osbourne
  • Svoju buduću američku suprugu Fanny Van de Grift Osbourne upoznao je u Francuskoj 1876. godine kada mu je bilo 26 godina. Tri godine kasnije napustio je Europu na parobrod kako bi se pridružio Fanny i njezinoj djeci u San Franciscu. No loše zdravlje ga je umalo ubilo prije nego što je tamo stigao. Morao je stati u Montereyu u Kaliforniji, gdje su ga neki lokalni rančari njegovali. Tek skoro šest mjeseci nakon početka putovanja ponovno je sreo Fanny u San Franciscu. Kasnije je o tom iskustvu pisao u "Amaterskom emigrantu". Čini se da je to veliko iskustvo za njegovo pisanje, ali fizički mu je to uzelo veliki danak.
Fanny Van de Grift Osbourne
  • Par se vjenčao i medeni mjesec proveo u napuštenom rudarskom kampu u dolini Napa. Mjesto je kasnije pretvoreno u park i dobilo ime po Robertu Louisu Stevensonu. Ovo putovanje opisano je u Stevensonovom "The Silverado Squatters".
  • Stevenson je napisao "Čudan slučaj doktora Jekylla i gospodina Hydea" dok je ljetovao s obitelji u Bournemouthu. Fanny je kasnije ispričala Stevensonovog biografa da je priča došla do njezina muža u obliku noćne more. Ona ga je#8217d probudila kad je prestravljeno zavapio. Ali kad se probudio, iznervirao se: “Zašto si me probudio? Sanjao sam lijepu bauk priča! ”. Robert je prvi nacrt kratke priče napisao u tri dana. I nakon što je primio bilješke od Fanny, spalio ga je i ponovno napisao za tri do šest dana.
Godine u inozemstvu
  • Uvijek je tragao za klimom koja je odgovarala njegovu lošem zdravlju. Godine 1888. on i njegova obitelj ukrcali su se na brod koji je krenuo prema istočnom i središnjem Pacifiku. Proveli su tri godine putujući okolo, a za vrijeme njihovog boravka na otocima Havaji, postao je dobar prijatelj s kraljem Kalākauaom i kraljevskom nećakinjom princezom Victoria Kaiulani. Obitelj je također provodila vrijeme na Gilbertovim otocima, Tahitiju, Novom Zelandu i Samoanskim otocima. Tijekom tog razdoblja, Stevenson je dovršio “Mestra Ballantrae ”, komponirao dvije balade temeljene na legendama otočana, te napisao “The Bottle Imp ”.
Robert Louis Stevenson s kraljem Kalākauom.
  • Godine 1890. Stevenson je kupio komad zemlje od oko 1,6 km² na Upoluu, otoku u Samoi. Uzeo je domaće ime Tusitala, što je Samoan za “Teller of Tales ”.
Robert Louis Stevenson na verandi obiteljske samoanske kuće.
  • Robert Louis Stevenson umro je u 44. godini 1894. Razgovarao je sa suprugom dok je otvarao bocu vina kad se iznenada srušio. Vjeruje se da je umro od moždanog krvarenja. Stevenson je pokopan na brdu Vaea na Upoluu, u blizini obiteljske kuće – koja je danas muzej posvećen autoru.

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Dvostruki život Roberta Louisa Stevensona

Moja glavna kvalifikacija za pisanje o Robertu Louisu Stevensonu je naklonost. On je jedini autor za kojeg mogu reći da sam ga čitav život čitao. Otet bila je prva knjiga koju sam pročitao koja je imala poglavlja i još se mogu sjetiti kestenjastog uveza i težine knjige u ruci. U to sam vrijeme živio s roditeljima u dolini Glenalmond, na rubu Škotskog gorja. Možda je Stevenson znao za to mjesto, jer Lord Glenalmond igra ulogu u njegovom posljednjem djelu, Weir od Hermistona. Morao sam samo pogledati kroz prozore naše kuće da vidim oštra brda, vrijesak i raspuknute krajolike, tako ogoljena skrovišta, preko kojih su se probili David Balfour i Alan Breck. I u tim godinama bespolnog čitanja nije mi palo na pamet da ne mogu ići s njima.

Osim što je to prva cjelovita knjiga koju sam pročitao, Otet bila je prva knjiga čije sam ime autora znao. Doista. Nisam prije znao da postoji nešto poput autora. Knjige su pale s polica kao lišće s drveća. Nisam dovodio u pitanje njihovo podrijetlo, oni su sami po sebi apsolutni. No, u slučaju kestenjaste knjige glazba Stevensonova imena me se dojmila. Također sam posjedovao kopiju Dječji vrt stihova. "Moja sjena." sa svojom mješavinom promatranja i tajanstvenosti, bila je jedna od mojih omiljenih pjesama.

Takvo rano prepoznavanje moglo bi se činiti dobrom za ugled autora, ali zapravo je dio dugog procesa kojim je Stevensonovo djelo obezvrijeđeno. To što smo ja i mnogi drugi došli na njegovo djelo tako mladi učinilo nas je da ga smatramo dječjim autorom od kojeg kao odrasli nemamo što naučiti. Ovo mišljenje ne bi dijelili njegovi suvremenici, bilo u njegovom konkretnom slučaju ili kao opće pravilo. Odrasli viktorijanci mogli su bez isprike prihvatiti takozvane dječje knjige. Stevensonov otac često je ponovno čitao Pomoćnik roditelja, svezak priča za djecu i zapise Virginije Woolf na koje se vodi Petar Pan na njezin dvadeset treći rođendan bez ikakvih znakova da je to dječja poslastica.

Poput sjene u njegovoj pjesmi, Stevensonova reputacija postajala je sve slabija i slabija. Čini se da je plamen hagiografije u kojoj je umro izazvao kritike na poseban bijes. F. R. Leavis, godine Velika tradicija, odbacio je Stevensona kao romantičnog pisca krivog za fino pisanje, a općenito ga je kritička zajednica odredila kao manjeg autora koji nije vrijedan ozbiljnog divljenja koje odajemo njegovu prijatelju Henryju Jamesu. Ljudi s čuđenjem komentiraju da se Borgesu i Nabokovu svidio njegov rad. Ove godine obilježava se stogodišnjica Stevensonove smrti i nisam jedini koji vjeruje da je vrijeme da preispita svoj ugled.

Dva očita faktora u Stevensonovom padu iz milosti su količina i moda. Popis njegovih publikacija mnogo je dulji nego što većina ljudi shvaća, ali nekoliko djela po kojima ga se sjećamo ne čine prepoznatljiv opus. A književni ukus krenuo je u smjeru koji se Stevensonu nije sviđao i učinio je sve da izbjegne-naime, pesimizam. Na primjer, dok se divio ranom Hardyju, mrzio ga je Tess of the D'Urbervilles, i uzeo je Jamesa na zadatak Portret jedne dame. John Galsworthy ovo je nezaboravno komentirao kada je rekao da je Stevensonova superiornost nad Hardyjem u tome što je Stevenson cijeli život, dok je Hardy cijela smrt.

Naravno, postoje važniji razlozi zašto se Stevensonova sjena smanjila. Često zaostaje u našim očekivanjima od ozbiljnog romanopisca. Njegovi su zapleti previše jednostavni u psihološkom smislu i previše fantastični u pogledu događaja. Prvi problem djelomično je proizlazio iz njegove teorije fikcije, a drugi je znao da je kriv i okrivio je priče iz svog djetinjstva. Obično je radio na nekoliko projekata odjednom, što je znak njegove prirodne sklonosti, ali i poteškoća koje je imao pri donošenju zaključaka. Povijest, koja mu je dala toliko njegovih spletki, nije bila tako velikodušna s završecima, a pokušavajući ih izmisliti, Stevenson je često ili prelazio granice vjerodostojnosti, kao u Majstor Ballantrae, ili pao u ravnost, kao u Otet.

Najcjelovitiji izvještaj o njegovoj teoriji fikcije koji imamo sadrži "A Humble Remonstrance", esej koji je napisao kao odgovor na Jamesovu "The Art of Fiction". Ovdje ga vidimo kako opovrgava Jamesovo mišljenje da se umjetnost treba natjecati sa životom:

Zapravo, mnogi su njegovi kritičari podigli upravo ovu optužbu protiv Stevensona: da je u potrazi za značajem otišao previše od života.

Ja bih to rekao u svom najboljem djelu - ponajviše Otet, Čudan slučaj dr. Jekylla i gospodina Hydea, i Weir od Hermistona—Stevenson, možda unatoč sebi, nije uspio omamiti svoju umjetnost. On otvara oči, i naše, na zbrku stvarnosti, a ono što nam pokazuje nešto je što modernog čitatelja životno zanima: neizbježna dvojnost našeg postojanja.

Neposredno prije smrti Stevenson je napisao:

Ovaj je spektakl dramatizirao lirskom specifičnošću i, kako je njegovo djelo sazrijevalo, povećavao suptilnost. I nitko nikad nije bolje opisao ono što sam vidio s prozora svoje prve spavaće sobe.

KAKO je Stevenson postao zaokupljen dualnošću, može se vidjeti čak i u kratkom pregledu njegova života. Rođen je 13. studenog 1850. u Edinburghu. Njegov otac, Thomas, potjecao je iz reda inženjera svjetionika. Njegova majka, Margaret, bila je najmlađe od trinaest djece velečasnog Lewisa Balfoura. Louis, kako su dječaka zvali, imao je strašnu škotsku dadilju Cummy za koju je kasnije tvrdio da ima veliki utjecaj. Do njegove sedme godine obitelj se preselila na 17 Heriot Row u Novom gradu Edinburghu, vrlo respektabilnu adresu s koje se Stevenson kasnije odvažio istražiti povoljnije četvrti grada.

Počeo je pisati u ranoj dobi, majci je diktirao "Povijest Mojsija" kad je imao šest godina. Za razliku od mene, on je znao za autore i sebe je nazvao takvim. Mnogo je čitao, ne samo povijest, i odrastao živo svjestan da Škotsku dijele i politika i temperament. Prirodno neprijateljstvo između hladnih, pristojnih nizinskih Škota i vatrenih gorštaka informira mnogo o njegovom radu.

Njegovi su se roditelji ponosili njegovim preuranjenim književnim pothvatima, ali nije im palo na pamet da će njihov sin biti književnik, bilo mu je suđeno da bude inženjer svjetionika. U tu je svrhu Louis studirao inženjerstvo na Sveučilištu u Edinburghu - po svemu sudeći vrlo nedostatno - i pratio je oca do udaljenih svjetionika, putovanja koja je kasnije koristio u svom poslu, posebno Otet. Čini se da su njegovi roditelji tolerirali njegov nedostatak studioznosti, ali 1873. došlo je do strašne krize kada su otkrili da je Louis izgubio vjeru. Srećom, čini se da nisu bili svjesni da je i on bio u vezi s prostitutkama. Djelomično kao rezultat ovih svađa Louis se srušio i poslan je na oporavak na jug Francuske. Tamo je, u odlučnom nastojanju da poboljša svoje pisanje, nastavio glumiti "zavodljivog majmuna", kako ga je opisao, oponašajući Wordswortha, Defoea, Hawthornea i Baudelairea, među ostalima.

Tijekom sljedećih nekoliko godina napisao je niz eseja, uključujući i vrlo kontroverzan u kojem je odveo Roberta Burnsa na posao radi pljačkanja, te je s roditeljima postigao modus vivendi. Davali su mu džeparac od oko 80 funti godišnje, a on je odustao od inženjeringa u korist zakona. Godine 1875. primljen je u škotski bar, a njegova ukupna zarada kao odvjetnika zabilježena je kao četiri gvineje.

Zbližavanje roditelja i sina prebrodilo je čak i skandal Louisova braka. Godine 1876., tijekom posjete rođakinji u Grezu u Francuskoj, Stevenson je upoznao Fanny Osbourne. Bila je Amerikanka, deset godina starija od njega, i udaljila se od muža. U Grez je došla sa svoje dvoje djece, Lloydom i Belle, kako bi se oporavila od smrti svog trećeg djeteta. Kasnije je Osbourne tvrdio da se Stevenson zaljubio u nju na prvi pogled. Čini se da je to bila čista izmišljotina, ali nedugo nakon toga posjetio ju je u Parizu. Osbourne je dala čudnu sliku svog nestabilnog udvarača "Voljela bih da Louis ne brizne u plač na tako neočekivan način", napisala je. Patio je i od katarakte smijeha, a jedini lijek za koji je, kako je tvrdio, bio da mu netko savije prste. Osbourne i Stevenson su gotovo sigurno u ovo doba postali ljubavnici.

1878. Osbourne se vratio u Ameriku, a Stevenson, nakratko, u Škotsku. Te jeseni vratio se u Francusku, gdje je za šezdeset pet franaka kupio magarca. Nazvao ju je Modestine, a tijekom njihova dvanaestodnevnog putovanja u Cévennesu smanjio joj je vrijednost gotovo za pola. Kasnije ju je ovjekovječio unutra Putuje s magarcem. Ne znamo pod kojim su se točno uvjetima on i Osbourne rastali, ali u srpnju 1879. poslala mu je brzojav. Najromantičnijom gestom u svom životu potajno je otplovio u Ameriku. Njegov izvještaj o putovanju i potonjem putovanju vlakom do San Francisca bio je toliko mračan da ga je otac nagovorio da ne objavljuje Amaterski emigrant. Kad je stigao u Osbourne, u Montereyu, Stevensonu je medicinska sestra trebala više nego žena. Njihov brak, sljedeće godine, obje su strane opisale kao da se odvijaju u ekstremima.

Fanny je glavno bojno polje za Stevensonove biografe, jer dvije novije knjige -Robert Louis Stevenson, autora Frank McLynn, i Snovi o egzilu, Ian Bell - demonstrirati. Što god se dogodilo kasnije, čini se jasnim da je nevjerojatni par u početku bio zaljubljen. Za Stevensona je Fanny bila apogej nekoliko značajnih veza sa starijim ženama. Što se nje tiče, zasigurno je ljubav bila jedini argument za udaju za bolesnog, osiromašenog književnika. Kasnije se Fanny reklamirala kao Stevensonova muza, suradnica i bolničarka, tvrdnje koje Frank McLynn snažno i često uvjerljivo osporava. Ipak, nerado raspoređujem krivnju. Tko može reći tko su zaljubljeni zločinci? Stevenson je s Fanny živio četrnaest godina i za to je vrijeme napisao djela po kojima ga poznajemo.

Prvih nekoliko godina svog braka Stevensonovi su putovali naprijed -natrag između Škotske i kontinenta, konačno se naselivši 1884. u engleskom primorskom gradu Bournemouthu. Louis je velik dio sljedeće tri godine proveo u krevetu, a kasnije se opisao kao da je tamo živio "poput žižaka u keksu". Za to vrijeme bolje se upoznao s Henryjem Jamesom, koji je došao u Bournemouth posjetiti još jednog invalida: svoju sestru, Alice. Njih dvoje su iz divljenja prešli u prijateljstvo koje je preživjelo niz estetskih neslaganja. Zašto ne biste pisali o ženama? Predložio je James. Što je s akcijom? Pozvao je Stevenson. Koliko bi djelovanje svakoga moglo biti drugačije da je poslušao drugoga.

Unatoč lošem zdravlju, Stevenson je bio izvanredno produktivan. Ubrzo je objavio niz Dječji vrt stihova, Jekyll i Hyde, i Otet. Kad su on i Fanny napustili Britaniju, 1887., bio je već poznati pisac. Thomas Stevenson umro je u svibnju te godine, a njegovom smrću Louis se slobodno odselio u inozemstvo. U kolovozu su Be i Fanfly otplovili u Ameriku, a neko su vrijeme vodili ekstremnu verziju putujućeg života koji je nekad bio uobičajen za pisce. Na kraju su se uputili prema južnim morima i Samoi, gdje su 1889. kupili imanje zvano Vailima. Javnosti je to bilo ostvarenje mita: autor Otok s blagom sada je živio na svom otoku.

Život u Vailimi, međutim, bio je daleko od idiličnog. Fanny, koja je dugo patila od živčanih bolesti, postajala je sve teža, a Stevenson, iako je zarađivao više nego ikad prije, bio je zabrinut zbog novca. Ove tjeskobe na neki način objašnjavaju zašto, unatoč boljem zdravlju, tako malo djela po kojem ga se sjećamo potječe iz ovog razdoblja. Nije da je bio besposlen - stalno je pisao, ali uglavnom putopisne knjige i povijest Samoe, a sve je to izazvalo Jakova da ga potakne da ne rasipa svoje darove.

Možda je James bio pronicljiv. 3. prosinca 1894. Stevenson je ujutro napisao beletristiku, popodne je napisao pisma, a navečer je umro. Pomagao je Fanny u preljevu od majoneze, dodavajući ulje kap po kap, kad se srušio. Sutradan u zoru Samoanci su radili noževima i sjekirama probijajući cestu uz padine planine Vaca. Tog popodneva njegov su lijes nosili u štafetama do vrha.

Za mapiranje Stevensonovog života potrebno je izraditi složen dijagram u kojemu možemo vidjeti zašto je dualizam bio njegova središnja briga. Kao boemsko dijete konvencionalnih roditelja, kao nizozemski Škot, kao invalid, kao izgnanik, uvijek je živio dvostrukim životom, pokušavajući biti na dva mjesta, ili u dva položaja u isto vrijeme, i nigdje više nego u svom teškom odnosu s ocem. Taj je odnos za Stevensona bio središnji dualizam: njegov je otac bio primarno lice, on je bio orgijastički temelj, a nastala svađa među njima istodobno je bila velika sila i velika prepreka u njegovu radu. U Otok s blagom i Otet ponudio je prethodno rješenje za svađu ubivši pripovjedačevog oca - u uvodnim poglavljima prvog, prije nego što roman započne u drugom. Sve dok nakon Thomasove smrti Stevenson nije imao problema s održavanjem izmišljenih očeva na životu.

Poput mnogih velikih pisaca, Stevenson je sporo otkrivao svoje prave teme. "Dugo sjedim i šutim na jajima", napisao je. Imao je trideset godina kada je započeo, što će mu biti prvi uspjeh, Otok s blagom. Geneza romana otkriva. Obitelj je boravila u malom škotskom gradu Braemar. Jednog kišnog poslijepodneva Stevenson je nacrtao kartu otoka i počeo smišljati priču kojom će zabaviti svog posinka, Lloyda. Thomas Stevenson tada je bio u posjeti i s entuzijazmom je davao prijedloge za projekt svog sina. Rana su poglavlja cijenjenoj obitelji čitana naglas. Roman je nastavljen s serijalizacijom u časopisu za dječake, a objavljen je kao knjiga 1883. godine. Sigurno nije slučajno što je Stevenson prvi put naišao na narativnu sreću za koju imamo bilo kakve zapise o odobrenju njegova oca.

Stevensonov priznati cilj Otok s blagom trebao je napisati priču za dječake - "Nema potrebe za psihologijom ili finim pisanjem", rekao je. Mnogi čitatelji, uključujući Jamesa, pohvalili su roman. Vjerojatno nitko u to vrijeme, uključujući i samog Stevensona, nije prepoznao njegovo najznačajnije postignuće. dodirom Pewove trske i nekoliko zborova yo-ho-ho, oslobodio je dječje pisanje od teških lanaca viktorijanskog didaktizma.

Jedno od velikih zadovoljstava preispitivanja Stevensona bilo je ponovno čitanje Otet Vratio sam se na to oklijevajući, nervozno, očekujući da ću svoje sedmogodišnje ja uzeti na zadatak, a na lijepim, veličanstvenim početnim stranicama, na kojima David Balfour posljednji put napušta svoj dom, otkrio sam da je jedan bio zarobljen. Alan Breck ostaje izvanredno vedar lik, a mene je Stevensonov dar za opisivanje pejzaža koji oblikuju i otkrivaju postupke likova ponovno začudio.

Tek nakon što sam zatvorio knjigu, palo mi je na pamet da je priča smještena gotovo stoljeće prije Stevensonova rođenja. Ovaj nadzor pripisujem ne svojoj tuposti nego njegovoj genijalnosti. Kao što je dječju književnost oslobodio didaktizma, tako je i povijesni roman oslobodio škripave predanosti prošlosti. Likove je predstavio u prozi koja je živahna i lucidna i, najbolje od svega, neobuzdana nostalgijom.

Jekyll i Hyde, suštinski roman dvostrukog života, napisan je "na bijeloj vrućini" otprilike u isto vrijeme kao i Otet, i imao je dugo razdoblje izleganja-Stevenson je od djetinjstva znao za đakona Brodića, Edinburškog stolara iz osamnaestog stoljeća na kojem je zasnivao Jekylla i Hydea. Roman objavljen 1886. postigao je nešto čak i bolje od dobrih kritika, postao je predmet brojnih propovijedi. Četrdeset tisuća primjeraka prodano je u prvih šest mjeseci, a od tada je izraz "Jekyll and Hyde" ušao u kulturu.

Povratak i čitanje onoga što je Stevenson zapravo napisao dezorijentira iz nekoliko razloga. Roman je čvrsto u romantičnoj tradiciji u kojoj pripovjedač suh kao prah izvješćuje o nevjerojatnim događajima. Skloni smo previdjeti hladnog, šutljivog odvjetnika Uttersona koji nas vodi kroz priču i koji je upravo zbog svoje rezerve najbolji mogući svjedok užasa Hydea. Dio naše dezorijentacije nije samo zaborav, već rezultat Stevensonova lukavog dizajna. Ulice labirinta kroz koje jurimo Hyde sve više odmiču od karte poznatog grada. Polako, ali neumoljivo vodimo nas u čudnu zemlju u kojoj će se otkriti odnos između Jekylllove primorne bijele ruke i Hydeove orgijastične dlakave šape. To dvoje nije samo suprotnost ili alter ego. U korisnoj analogiji Nabokova, Hyde je Jekyllin talog. Možemo ga smatrati i Jekyllinim sinom.

Kritičari su nagađali da su i Jekyll i Hyde krivi za seksualne prekršaje. No, roman sam pročitao kao u biti škotski, grijesi koje pripisujem Jekyllu su Edinburški grijesi tajnosti i puritanizma koji su upravljali Stevensonovom i mojom mladošću. Što god je autor imao na umu, neodređenost je romanu dobro poslužila. Datumi grijeha, a moderni čitatelji, iako frustrirani, ostavili smo slobodu zamisliti vlastitu verziju užasa.

Između Jekyll i Hyde i Weir, Stevenson je među njima napisao još nekoliko romana Majstor Ballantrae i David Balfour. Prvi se obično smatra njegovim najvećim cjelovečernjim djelom, iako je radnja, o doživotnom dvoboju dva brata, od kojih se jedan pokazao kao inkubus, poražena čak i kao uporni obožavatelj poput Andréa Gidea. Ono što je značajno u smislu Stevensonovog razvoja kao pisca je da je otac ostao živ kroz prvu polovicu romana i da su likovi snažna, inteligentna žena.

Oba ova obećanja su ispunjena u nedovršenom Weir od Hermistona. Ovdje je Stevenson napokon istražio svađu između oca i sina i stvorio dva vrhunska ženska lika. Lord Braxfleld, ozloglašeni Škotski vješajući sudac, bio je, poput đakona Brodieja, poznati Edinburški lik. Stevenson je postao uvjeren da je Braxfleld njegova velika tema, ona koja će mu omogućiti da postigne epske kvalitete koje mu je do tada nedostajalo.

Radnja spaja zasljepljivanje stvarnosti sa, značajem umjetnosti. Archieja, jedinog sina loših roditelja, u Hermistonu odgaja njegova religiozna majka, koja ga bez razmišljanja uči kritizirati svog oca. Nakon njezine smrti seli se u Edinburgh živjeti sa svojim ocem, sucem. Do krize među njima dolazi kada Archie, sada student prava, gleda svog oca kako osuđuje čovjeka na smrt.

Archie osuđuje vješanje kao ubojstvo, a otac ga tjera u Hermiston. Tamo se starija Kirstie, njegova domaćica, zaljubi u njega, dok se on zaljubi u njezinu nećakinju, mlađu Kirstie. Idilična potraga za posljednjim, tajnim odnosom prekinuta je dolaskom Franka, lika nalik lagu. Frank otkriva vezu i s najgorim namjerama upozorava Archieja na to. Njegov savjet podržava stariji Kirstie, iz vrlo različitih razloga. U devetom poglavlju vidimo kako Archie pokušava djelovati u skladu s tim.

Iz pisama i bilješki imamo ideju o tome kako je Stevenson zamislio ostatak knjige. Frank je namjeravao zavesti mlađu Kirstie. Archie bi upucao Franka i bio uhićen. Došao bi na suđenje i na neki način - Stevenson je očajnički želio postići ovo - otac će mu suditi i biti osuđen na smrt.

Sve ovo, bez obzira na vjerodostojnost, ima odjek epa. To je ujedno i Stevensonovo najdublje istraživanje dualnosti. Na kraju je ostavio po strani nadmudrivanja nadnaravnih i stvorio likove koji su međusobno suprotstavljeni i u ratu u sebi. U svojoj samici sudac podupire pristojno lice društva, a pritom ostaje čvrsto ukorijenjen u orgijastičkim temeljima, a za tragediju je ključno da je Axvhie sin njegova oca, ali i majke. Ovdje ga vidimo kako opisuje svoje zamršene osjećaje:

Pa ipak, nastavlja Archie, zatražio je očevo pomilovanje i potpuno se predao u njegove ruke. Dva Kirstiesa također nam pokazuju izuzetnu vitalnost i suptilnost motivacije.

To što je Stevenson umro usred ove priče tragično je to što je uopće živio da bi je napisao, pravo je čudo. Kanon nas je naučio cijeniti djelo nad jednim djelom, ali u ovaj kasni datum dvadesetog stoljeća, utapajući se u knjigama, zasigurno si možemo priuštiti cijeniti kvalitetu čak i kad dolazi bez količine. Ako Stevenson zaslužuje mjesto u našim odraslim životima, njegova reputacija mora, poput niza autora, počivati ​​na samo nekoliko djela. Kao što volimo Shelley Frankenstein, Di Lampedusa za Leopard, Fournier za Izgubljena domena, tako da možemo voljeti Stevensona zbog njegove nadsvođene ambicije i zato što je barem u tim posljednjim danima svog života napisao stranice vrijedne te ambicije i našeg divljenja. Radio je na Weir od Hermistona s prekidima od 1892. nadalje. Posljednje riječi bile su diktirane ujutro njegove smrti.


Robert Louis Stevenson

U rujnu 1857. Stevenson je otišao na Škola gospodina Hendersona u India Street, Edinburgh, međutim zbog lošeg zdravlja ostao je samo nekoliko tjedana i nije se vratio do listopada 1859. Tijekom mnogih izbivanja podučavali su ga osobni učitelji. U listopadu 1861. otišao je na Edinburgh Academy, nepristran fakultet za dječake, gdje je povremeno boravio petnaestak mjeseci. U jesen 1863. proveo je jedno vrijeme na engleskom internatu u Spring Groveu u Isleworthu u Middlesexu (sada gradski prostor zapadnog Londona). U listopadu 1864., nakon što je poboljšao svoje zdravlje, poslan je na osobni fakultet Roberta Thomsona u ulici Frederick, Edinburgh, mjesto gdje je ostao do polaska na fakultet. [19] U studenom 1867. Stevenson je ušao na Sveučilište u Edinburghu kako bi provjerio inženjering. Od početka je potvrdio da nema entuzijazma za svoje istraživanje i posvetio je mnogo snage izbjegavanju predavanja. Ovo je vrijeme bilo dodatno potrebno za prijateljstva koja je stekao s različitim studentima u The Speculative Society (jedinstveno debatno članstvo), značajno s Charlesom Baxterom, koji će se pretvoriti u Stevensonova monetarnog agenta, i s profesorom, Fleeming Jenkin, čiji je dom postavio dramu početnicu tijekom koje je Stevenson uzeo pola, a čiju bi biografiju kasnije napisao. [20] Možda je najpotrebniji na ovoj razini u njegovu životu bio rođak, Robert Alan Mowbray Stevenson (često zvan “Bob ”), energičan i lagodan mlađi muškarac koji je, kao zamjenu za kućno zanimanje, izabrao provjeriti umjetnička djela. [21]

Stevenson je bio jedino dijete, svaki čudnog izgleda i ekscentričan, i otkrio je da je teško uložiti ga kad su ga sa 6 godina poslali na obližnji fakultet, što se problem ponovio s 11 godina kada je otišao na Akademiju u Edinburghu međutim učinkovito se uklopio u energične video igre zajedno sa svojim rođacima na ljetnim praznicima u Colintonu. [16] Njegove česte bolesti obično su ga spašavale od prvog fakulteta, pa su ga osobni učitelji podučavali na duže dionice. Bio je kasni čitatelj, učio je sa 7 ili 8 godina, međutim i prije toga je diktirao priče svojoj mami i medicinskoj sestri [17], a on je prisilno pisao priče cijelo svoje djetinjstvo. Njegov je otac bio zadovoljan ovom znatiželjom jer je u slobodno vrijeme dodatno pisao priče sve dok ih njegov osobni otac nije otkrio i uputio ga da prestane s takvim glupostima i razmišlja o onome što promovirate. ” [5] Platio je tiskanje Prva publikacija Roberta#8217, naslovljena 16 godina Pentland Rising: Stranica povijesti, 1666. Bio je to prikaz pobune Covenanters ’ koja je tiskana 1866., na dvije stotine obljetnice te prilike. [18]

Stevensonovi tata i mama bili su svaki vjerski prezbiterijanci, međutim obitelj nije bila stroga u svom pridržavanju kalvinističkih ideja. Njegova medicinska sestra Alison Cunningham (često zvana Cummy) [12] bila je iznimno žarko duhovna. Njezina mješavina kalvinizma i vjerovanja ljudi bila je rana zaliha mora za dijete, a on je potvrdio preuranjenu brigu za vjeru. [13] No, dodatno se nježno brinula za njega u bolesti, proučavajući ga od Johna Bunyana i Biblije dok je ležao bolestan u madracu i pričao priče o Zavjetima. Stevenson se prisjetio ovog vremena bolesti u “Zemlji Counterpane ” u Dječji vrt stihova (1885), [14] posvećujući e -knjigu svojoj medicinskoj sestri. [15]

Lewis Balfour i njegova kći imali su slaba prsa, kako bi za svoje zdravlje obično željeli ostati u toplijoj klimi. Stevenson je naslijedio sklonost kašlju i groznici, što se pogoršalo kad se kućanstvo 1851. preselilo u vlažnu, prohladnu kuću na 1 Inverleith Terraceu. [8] Domaćinstvo se još jednom preselilo na sunčaniji 17 Heriot Row kada je Stevenson bio zastario, šest godina sklonost pretjeranoj bolesti zimi zadržala ga je do 11. godine. Bolest je bila stalna funkcija njegovog odraslog života i ostavila ga je užasno mršavog. [9] Suvremeni su stavovi bili da ima tuberkulozu, međutim umjereniji su stavovi da se radi o bronhiektazijama [10] pa čak i sarkoidozi. [11]

Dizajn svjetionika bio je okupacija u kućanstvu. Thomasin otac#8217 (djed Robert i#8217) bio je građevinski inženjer Robert Stevenson, a Thomas i braća#8217 (ujaci Roberta#8217) Alan i David bili su na istoj temi. [5] Thomasin djed s majčine strane Thomas Smith bio je u istoj profesiji. Međutim, majčino kućanstvo Roberta bilo je plemićko, vodeći svoju lozu ponovno do Aleksandra Balfoura koji je držao zemlju Inchyra u Fifi u petnaestom stoljeću. Otac njegove majke Lewis Balfour (1777–1860) bio je ministrant Škotske crkve u blizini Colintona [6], a njezina braća i sestre bili su liječnik George William Balfour i pomorski inženjer James Balfour. Stevenson je veći dio dječačkih praznika proveo u djedovoj kući s majčine strane. “Sada obično iznenađujem ono što sam naslijedio od ovog zastarjelog ministra, "#napisao je Stevenson. “Moram zasigurno pretpostaviti da je on volio propovijedati, a i ja sam, iako nipošto nisam čuo da je obojica voljeli slušati ih. ” [7]

Stevenson je rođen u Howard Place 8, Edinburgh, Škotska, 13. studenoga 1850. od Thomasa Stevensona (1818. - 1887.), inženjera svjetionika broj jedan, i njegove supružnice, Margaret Isabella (rođena Balfour, 1829. - 1897.). Kršten je kao Robert Lewis Balfour Stevenson. S oko 18 godina promijenio je pravopis “Lewisa ” u “Louis ”, a 1873. pao je “Balfour ”. [3] [4]

Zvijezda za njegova života, Stevensonova bitna popularnost varirala je od njegove smrti, iako se njegova djela u ovom trenutku obično hvale. In 2018 he was ranked, simply behind Charles Dickens, because the Twenty sixth-most-translated writer on the earth. [2]

Born and educated in Edinburgh, Stevenson suffered from critical bronchial hassle for a lot of his life, however continued to write down prolifically and journey broadly in defiance of his poor well being. As a younger man, he blended in London literary circles, receiving encouragement from Andrew Lang, Edmund Gosse, Leslie Stephen and W. E. Henley, the final of whom could have supplied the mannequin for Long John Silver in Treasure Island. In 1890, he settled in Samoa the place, alarmed at growing European and American affect within the South Sea islands, his writing turned away from romance and journey towards a darker realism. He died in his island house in 1894. [1]

Robert Louis Stevenson (born Robert Lewis Balfour Stevenson 13 November 1850 – 3 December 1894) was a Scottish novelist, poet and journey author, most famous for writing Treasure Island, Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Otet, i A Child’s Garden of Verses.


Early works

When Stevenson was twenty-one years old, he openly declared his intention of becoming a writer, against the strong opposition of his father. Agreeing to study law as a compromise, in 1875 Stevenson was admitted to the Scottish bar, an organization for lawyers. Having traveled to the European mainland several times for health and pleasure, he now swung back and forth between Scotland and a growing circle of artistic and literary friends in London, England, and Paris, France. Stevenson's first book, An Inland Voyage (1878), related his adventures during a canoe trip on Belgium and France's canals.

In France in 1876 Stevenson met an American woman named Fanny Osbourne. Separated from her husband, she was eleven years older than Stevenson and had two children. Three years later Stevenson and Osbourne were married. After accompanying his wife to America, Stevenson stayed in an abandoned mining camp, later recounted in The Silverado Squatters (1883). A year after setting out for the United States, Stevenson was back in Scotland. But the climate there proved to be a severe hardship on his health, and for the next four years he and his wife lived in Switzerland and in the south of France. Despite his health, these years proved to be productive. The stories Stevenson collected in The New Arabian Nights (1883) and The Merry Men (1887) range from detective stories to Scottish dialect tales, or tales of the region.


Posthumous Publications

1895

Amateur Emigrant
Songs of Travel and other Verses

1896

Weir of Hermiston (an unfinished novel)
In the South Seas
Fables
Lay Morals

1897 – May 14, Margaret Stevenson dies in Edinburgh.

1897

St. Ives: Being The Adventures of a French Prisoner in England

1914 – February 19, Fanny Stevenson dies in Santa Barbara, California.

1915 – June, Fanny buried with Stevenson on the summit of Mount Vaea, Samoa.


Robert Louis Stevenson

The author and poet is best known for his novels Treasure Island (1881), Kidnapped (1886), Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886), and The Master of Ballantrae (1889).

Prve godine

Born in Edinburgh, Stevenson began writing as a teenager, a passion that eclipsed any desire to become part of the family profession of lighthouse engineering, or the law career he chose and studied but never practised.

Despite frail health due to tuberculosis, Stevenson, who enjoyed a bohemian lifestyle, travelled abroad often, and many of his books were produced during those journeys. He married American Fanny Vandegrift in 1880 and they lived, broke, in California before sailing to Scotland.

Stevenson split his time between Switzerland and Scotland - on medical advice for his ongoing problems with tuberculosis - and during this time began work on his famous novel, Treasure Island, as well as many other published works.

In 1887, by then living in the south of England where he wrote Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, it became clear Stevenson&rsquos health could not cope with the climate. He left for New York&rsquos Adirondack Mountains with his wife, mother and stepson where he continued to write and found editors and publishers were willing to offer lucrative contracts.

The following year, Stevenson chartered a yacht for a holiday on the seas from which he would never return and which would result in the publication of in-depth insights about the South Seas.

Arrival in Samoa

After visiting a number of islands for extended stays, where Stevenson found a great interest in immersing himself in the local lifestyle, they reached Samoa in 1889 for a six-week stay. After a stint in Sydney, he returned to Samoa and set up life in the Vailima house in what is today the Robert Louis Stevenson Museum.

Stevenson became a popular and well-respected member of the community and continued to write, the climate suiting his health, until his death at age 44 - not from tuberculosis, but a cerebral haemorrhage. He was buried on top of Mount Vaea, overlooking the sea.

Today, the Robert Louis Stevenson Museum includes excerpts from his work and family memorabilia.


Robert Louis Stevenson Dies - History

Robert Lewis (later: “Louis”) Balfour Stevenson was born in Edinburgh on 13 November 1850. His father Thomas belonged to a family of engineers who had built many of the deep-sea lighthouses around the rocky coast of Scotland. His mother, Margaret Isabella Balfour, came from a family of lawyers and church ministers. In 1857 the family moved to 17 Heriot Row, a solid, respectable house in Edinburgh’s New Town.

At the age of seventeen he enrolled at Edinburgh University to study engineering, with the aim – his father hoped – of following him in the family firm. However, he abandoned this course of studies and made the compromise of studying law. He “passed advocate” in 1875 but did not practice since by now he knew he wanted to be a writer. In the university’s summer vacations he went to France to be in the company of other young artists, both writers and painters. His first published work was an essay called “Roads”, and his first published volumes were works of travel writing.

Early Published Works

His first published volume, An Inland Voyage (1878), is an account of the journey he made by canoe from Antwerp to northern France, in which prominence is given to the author and his thoughts. A companion work, Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes (1879), gives us more of his thoughts on life and human society and continues in consolidating the image of the debonair narrator that we also find in his essays and letters (which can be classed among his best works).

Meeting with Fanny, Journey to California, Marriage

The meeting with his future wife, Fanny, was to change the rest of his life. They met immediately after his “inland voyage”, in September 1876 at Grez, a riverside village south-east of Paris he was twenty-five, and she was thirty-six, an independent American “New Woman”, separated from her husband and with two children. Two years later she returned to California and a year after that, in August 1879, RLS set out on the long journey to join her. This experience was to be the subject of his next large-scale work The Amateur Emigrant (written 1879-80, published in part in 1892 and in full in 1895), an account of this journey to California, which Noble (1985: 14) considers his finest work. In this work of perceptive reportage and open-minded and humane observation the voice is less buoyant and does not avoid observation of hardship and suffering. (The light-hearted paradoxes and confidential address to the reader of the essays written a few years before (1876-77) and then published as Virginibus Puerisque (1881) continue in the creation of that original debonair authorial persona.) After Fanny obtained a divorce, she and RLS were married in San Francisco in May 1880. Concluding this first period of writing based closely on his own direct experiences is The Silverado Squatters (1883), an account of their three week honeymoon at an abandoned silver mine in California.

Short Stories

Stevenson has an important place in the history of the short story in the British Isles: the form had been elaborated and developed in America, France and Russia from the mid-19th century, but it was Stevenson who initiated the British tradition. His first published fictional narrative was “A Lodging for the Night” (1877), a short story originally published in a magazine, like other early narrative works, such as “The Sire De Malétroit’s Door” (1877), “Providence and the Guitar” (1878), and “The Pavilion on the Links” (1880, considered by Conan Doyle in 1890 as “the high-water mark of [Stevenson’s] genius” and “the first short story in the world” (Menikoff 1990, p. 342). These four tales were collected in a volume entitled New Arabian Nights in 1882, preceded by the seven linked stories originally called “Latter-Day Arabian Nights” when published in a magazine in 1878. This collection is seen as the starting point for the history of the English short story by Barry Menikoff (1987, p. 126). The Arabian stories were described by critics of the time as “fantastic stories of adventure”, “grotesque romances” “in which the analytic mind loses itself” (Maixner, pp. 117, 120), and are seen by Chesterton as “unequalled” and “the most unique of his works”(p. 169). They have an affinity with the Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde in their setting in the labyrinthine modern city, and the subject matter of crimes and guilty secrets involving respectable members of society. Stevenson continued to write short stories all his life, and notable titles include: “Thrawn Janet” (1881), “The Merry Men” (1882), “The Treasure of Franchard” (1883), “Markheim” (1885), which, being a narrative of the Double, has certain affinities with Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. “Olalla” (1885), which like Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde originated in a dream also deals with the possibility of degeneration. The above short narratives were all collected in The Merry Men and Other Tales and Fables in 1887.

“Olalla” was written in the period of just over two years (1885-87) when Stevenson and Fanny were living in Bournemouth. Despite problems of health and finances, this was a period of meetings with Henry James, W.E. Henley and other literary figures, and when he wrote the long short-story (published as a single volume), his “breakthrough book” Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1886).

Another collection Island Nights’ Entertainments, tales with a South Sea setting, was published in 1893, including “The Bottle Imp” (1891), “The Beach of Falesà” (1892, a long short story of the same length as Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde), and “The Isle of Voices”(1893).

Novels and Romances

Prince Otto (1885), his second full-length narrative, is defined by as “a philosophical-humouristical-psychological fantasy” (Maixner, p. 181). The action is provocatively set in the imaginary state of Grünewald, an unusual choice for Stevenson, and it was to historical Scotland (which had already provided the setting for Otet i Catriona) that he turned for his next full-length “adult” story, The Master of Ballantrae (1889). This is a Doubles narrative in which the brothers James and Henry have similarities with Jekyll and Hyde, not only in their initials, but also because of the mixed personality of the “good” character, the constant return of the persecuting Double, and the simultaneous death of the two antagonists. Both Calvino and Brecht consider it to be the best of Stevenson’s works, and it is highly praised by writers as diverse as Henry James, Walter Benjamin and André Gide. The novel that he was working on when he died, Weir of Hermiston (published incomplete and posthumously in 1896), is also set in Scotland in the not-too-distant past and has also been often praised and seen as Stevenson’s masterpiece. The centre of the story is the difficult relationship of an authoritarian father and a son who has to assert his own identity (a theme present in many of Stevenson’s works – and we may remember that Hyde is presented in some ways as Jekyll’s son – clearly a way for Stevenson to explore and come to terms with his difficult relationship with his own father).

In the South Seas

Weir of Hermiston, Stevenson’s very Scottish romance, was written when Stevenson was far away on the other side of the world. His decision to sail around the Pacific in 1888, living on various islands for short periods, then setting off again (all the time collecting material for an anthropological and historical work on the South Seas which was never fully completed), was another turning point in his life. In 1889 he and his extended family arrived at the port of Apia in the Samoan islands and they decided to build a house and settle. This choice brought him health, distance from the distractions of literary circles, and went towards the creation of his mature literary persona: the traveller, the exile, very aware of the harsh sides of life but also celebrating the joy in his own skill as a weaver of words and teller of tales. It also acted as a new stimulus to his imagination. He wrote about the Pacific islands in several of his later works: Island Nights’ Entertainments already referred to In the South Seas (published 1896), essays that would have gone towards the large work on the area that he planned and two other narratives with a South Sea setting: The Wrecker (1892), and The Ebb-Tide (1894). The former is a mystery adventure set in various places over the globe but centred in the South Seas (indeed at Midway Island, Latitude 0°) with some dark tones, especially in the fruitless search for treasure and the massacre of a ship’s crew (for quite understandable reasons!). The Ebb-Tide (like “The Beach of Falesà”) gives a realistic picture of the degenerate European traders and riffraff who inhabited the ports of the Pacific islands. These South Sea narratives mark a definite move towards a more harsh and grim realism (Stevenson himself acknowledges affinities of The Ebb-Tide with the work of Zola (Maixner, p. 452)).

Smrt

The authorial persona had changed from the debonair flâneur of the early works, but retained a joy in his craft and a consciousness in the shaping of his own life. He died in December 1894 and even shaped the manner of his burial: as he had wished, he was buried at the top of Mount Vaea above his home on Samoa. Appropriately it was a part of his own short poem, “Requiem” (from an 1887 collection), that was written on his tomb: “Under the wide and starry sky, / Dig the grave and let me lie…”

Recepcija

Stevenson’s establishes a personal relationship with the reader, and creates a sense of wonder through his brilliant style and his adoption and manipulation of a variety of genres. Writing when the period of the three-volume novel (dominant from about 1840 to 1880) was coming to an end, he seems to have written everything except a traditional Victorian novel: plays, poems, essays, literary criticism, literary theory, biography, travelogue, reportage, romances, boys’ adventure stories, fantasies, fables, and short stories. Like the other writers who were asserting the serious artistic nature of the novel at this time he writes in a careful, almost poetic style – yet he provocatively combines this with an interest in popular genres. His popularity with critics continued to the First World War. He then had the misfortune to be followed by the Modernists who needed to cut themselves off from any tradition Stevenson was felt to be one of the most constraining of immediately-preceding authors for his sheer ability, and one of the most insidious for his play with popular genres and for his preference for “romance” over the serious novel. Condemned by Virginia and especially Leonard Woolf (not unconnected, perhaps, with the fact that one of Stevenson’s great supporters had been Virginia’s father), ignored by F.R.Leavis, he was gradually excluded from the “canon” of regularly taught and written-about works of literature. The nadir comes in 1973 when Frank Kermode and John Hollander published their Oxford Anthology of English Literature. With over two thousand pages at their disposal in which to exemplify and comment on the notable poetry and prose produced in the British Isles from � to the Present”, not one page is devoted to Stevenson – in the whole closely-printed two thousand pages, Stevenson is not even mentioned once! Critical interest has been increasing slowly since then, in some countries more than others, though there have been few single-volume studies when compared with the large numbers of books published every year on his contemporaries James and Conrad. Stevenson, some might say, has been fortunate to escape such attention. Reading this Mozartian and mercurial writer remains for many as for Borges, despite critical neglect, quite simply “a form of happiness”.

Reference

Ambrosini, Sonia, “La fortuna critica di Robert Louis Stevenson in Italia, con riferimento ad Italo Calvino”, Laurea (M.A.) dissertation, (Università di Bergamo, 1991)

Borges, Jorge Luis, “Prefazione :Robert Louis Stevenson”, L’isola delle voci (Parma: Ricci, 1979) [‘fin dall’infanzia Robert Louis Stevenson è stato per me una delle forme della felicità’]

G.K. Chesterton, Robert Louis Stevenson (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1927)

Menikoff, Barry (1987), “Class and Culture in the English Short Story”, Journal of the Short Story in English 8 (1987), pp. 125-39.

– – -, “New Arabian Nights: Stevenson’s experiment in Fiction”, Nineteenth-Century Literature 43 (iii 1990), pp. 339-62.

Noble, Andrew, From the Clyde to California. Robert Louis Stevenson’s Emigrant Journey (Aberdeen: Aberdeen University Press, 1985)

Woolf, Leonard, “The Fall of Stevenson”, Essays on Literature, History, Politics etc.. (London: Hogarth Press, 1927)

Robert Louis Stevenson: the Critical Heritage, ed by Paul Maixner (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1981)


Robert Louis Stevenson

Robert Louis Stevenson has written some of the most popular works of literature to appear in the last two centuries. Robert Louis Stevenson’s most famous books are Treasure Island and Kidnapped, two of the most famous and best written adventure books to ever appear. However, the life of Robert Louis Stevenson is just about as interesting as any of his books, though there aren’t any terrifying encounters with pirates in his life story.

Robert Louis Stevenson was born on November 13, 1850. He was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, and was the son of Thomas Stevenson and Margaret Isabella Balfour. He was born a sickly infant, and was sickly throughout his entire life. His nurse’s name was Alison Cunningham, who was called Cummy within the family. From Alison Cunningham, Robert Louis Stevenson received his introduction to literature, and all of the many different forms of literature. Alison Cunningham told Robert Louis Stevenson particularly dark and morbid stories about the Scottish Presbyterian martyrs, known as the Covenantors. She also read him penny-series novels, the Psalms, and Bible stories. Thus Robert Louis Stevenson grew up very knowledgeable about religion, and also was surrounded by stories and storytellers during his entire childhood. Both religious issues and Scottish history would play a large part in Robert Louis Stevenson’s literature, beginning with the first two stories that he wrote as a child: “A History of Moses” and “The Book of Joseph.” Then when Robert Louis Stevenson was sixteen years old, his parents published a pamphlet that he had written about the murder of Nonconformist Scots Presbyterians. The title of the pamphlet is The Pentland Rising.

In November 1867, at the age of seventeen, Robert Louis Stevenson started studying at Edinburgh University. However, he didn’t really study all that much, and instead just practiced writing. He copied the style of very famous writers, including Sir Thomas Browne, Daniel Defoe (the author of Robinson Crusoe), Charles Lamp, William Hazlitt, and Michel de Montaigne. Robert Louis Stevenson published several papers in the Edinburgh University Magazine by the time that he was twenty one years old. The funniest paper was a farce which was entitled “The Philosophy of Umbrellas.”

While he was at Edinburgh University, Robert Louis Stevenson was called Velvet Jacket, because he wore a hat with a wide brim, a boy’s coat, and a cravat. Even though he wanted to drop out of school, Stevenson’s father insisted that he at least get a law degree, which Stevenson did. However, Stevenson had a huge row with his father when his father discovered that Stevenson appeared to be an atheist. The two did eventually make up.

Stevenson discovered a love for travel, and his journeys became fodder for his stories. He took a trip across America and almost died as he was pursuing an American woman with whom he had fallen in love. He turned his trip into “The Story of a Lie” and “The Amateur Emigrant.” Eventually Stevenson and Fanny Osbourne were married, in 1880, after she received a divorce from her husband. Unfortunately, Robert Louis Stevenson’s health became increasingly worse, and from 1880 to 1887, he suffered from hemorrhaging lungs. However, during this time, he wrote his most famous books: Treasure Island, written in 1883 Kidnapped, written in 1886 The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde written in 1886, and The Black Arrow, written in 1888.

Throughout his entire life, Robert Louis Stevenson had an incredible literary output. He traveled often, and eventually went to the South Seas, where he lived on various islands, including Hawaii and Samoa. He grew increasingly sick, and also increasingly homesick for Scotland, because even though he loved Samoa, he missed Scotland. He eventually died in Samoa after having written much about it, and was buried there. Robert Louis Stevenson died on December 3, 1894, of a stroke. His death was a blow to the entire literary world, and it was felt keenly, since Stevenson had become a legend both for his literature and for his love of adventure.


A Scottish novelist, poet, essayist, and travel writer, Robert Louis Stevenson was born at 8 Howard Place, Edinburgh, Scotland, on 13 November 1850. It has been more than 100 years since his death. Stevenson was a writer who caused conflicting opinions about his works. On one hand, he was often highly praised for his expert prose and style by many English-language critics. On the other hand, others criticised the religious themes in his works, often misunderstanding Stevenson’s own religious beliefs. Since his death a century before, critics and biographers have disagreed on the legacy of Stevenson’s writing. Two biographers, KF and CP , wrote a biography about Stevenson with a clear focus. They chose not to criticise aspects of Stevenson’s personal life. Instead, they focused on his writing, and gave high praise to his writing style and skill.

The literary pendulum has swung these days. Different critics have different opinions towards Robert Louis Stevenson’s works. Though today, Stevenson is one of the most translated authors in the world, his works have sustained a wide variety of negative criticism throughout his life. It was like a complete reversal of polarity—from highly positive to slightly less positive to clearly negative after being highly praised as a great writer, he became an example of an author with corrupt ethics and lack of moral. Many literary critics passed his works off as children’s stories or horror stories, and thought to have little social value in an educational setting. Stevenson’s works were often excluded from literature curriculum because of its controversial nature. These debates remain, and many critics still assert that despite his skill, his literary works still lack moral value.

One of the main reasons why Stevenson’s literary works attracted so much criticism was due to the genre of his writing. Stevenson mainly wrote adventure stories, which was part of a popular and entertaining writing fad at the time. Many of us believe adventure stories are exciting, offers engaging characters, action, and mystery but ultimately can’t teach moral principles. The plot points are one-dimensional and rarely offer a deeper moral meaning, instead focusing on exciting and shocking plot twists and thrilling events. His works were even criticised by fellow authors. Though Stevenson’s works have deeply influenced Oscar Wilde, Wilde often joked that Stevenson would have written better works if he wasn’t born in Scotland. Other authors came to Stevenson’s defence, including Galsworthy who claimed that Stevenson is a greater writer than Thomas Hardy.

Despite Wilde’s criticism, Stevenson’s Scottish identity was an integral part of his written works. Although Stevenson’s works were not popular in Scotland when he was alive, many modern Scottish literary critics claim that Sir Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson are the most influential writers in the history of Scotland. While many critics exalt Sir Walter Scott as a literary genius because of his technical ability, others argue that Stevenson deserves the same recognition for his natural ability to capture stories and characters in words. Many of Scott’s works were taken more seriously as literature for their depth due to their tragic themes, but fans of Stevenson praise his unique style of story-telling and capture of human nature. Stevenson’s works, unlike other British authors, captured the unique day to day life of average Scottish people. Many literary critics point to this as a flaw of his works. According to the critics, truly important literature should transcend local culture and stories. However, many critics praise the local taste of his literature. To this day, Stevenson’s works provide valuable insight to life in Scotland during the 19th century.

Despite much debate of Stevenson’s writing topics, his writing was not the only source of attention for critics. Stevenson’s personal life often attracted a lot of attention from his fans and critics alike. Some even argue that his personal life eventually outshone his writing. Stevenson had been plagued with health problems his whole life, and often had to live in much warmer climates than the cold, dreary weather of Scotland in order to recover. So he took his family to a south pacific island Samoa, which was a controversial decision at that time. However, Stevenson did not regret the decision. The sea air and thrill of adventure complimented the themes of his writing, and for a time restored his health. From there, Stevenson gained a love of travelling, and for nearly three years he wandered the eastern and central Pacific. Much of his works reflected this love of travel and adventure that Stevenson experienced in the Pacific islands. It was as a result of this biographical attention that the feeling grew that interest in Stevenson’s life had taken the place of interest in his works. Whether critics focus on his writing subjects, his religious beliefs, or his eccentric lifestyle of travel and adventure, people from the past and present have different opinions about Stevenson as an author. Today, he remains a controversial yet widely popular figure in Western literature.

Questions 27-31

Choose the correct letter, A, B, C ili D.

Write the correct letter in boxes 27-31 on your answer sheet.

27 Stevenson’s biographers KF and CP

A underestimated the role of family played in Stevenson’s life.

B overestimated the writer’s works in the literature history.

C exaggerated Stevenson’s religious belief in his works.

D elevated Stevenson’s role as a writer.

28 The main point of the second paragraph is

A the public give a more fair criticism to Stevenson’s works.

B recent criticism has been justified.

C the style of Stevenson’s works overweigh his faults in his life.

D Stevenson’s works’ drawback is lack of ethical nature.

29 According to the author, adventure stories

A do not provide plot twists well.

B cannot be used by writers to show moral values.

C are more fashionable art form.

D can be found in other’s works but not in Stevenson’s.

30 What does the author say about Stevenson’s works?

A They describe the life of people in Scotland.

B They are commonly regarded as real literature.

C They were popular during Stevenson’s life.

D They transcend the local culture and stories.

31 The lifestyle of Stevenson

A made his family envy him so much.

B should be responsible for his death.

C gained more attention from the public than his works.

D didn’t well prepare his life in Samoa.

Questions 32-35

Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage 3?

In boxes 32-35 on you answer sheet, write

TRUE if the statement is true

FALSE if the statement is false

NOT GIVEN if the information is not given in the passage

32 Although Oscar Wilde admired Robert Louis Stevenson very much, he believed Stevenson could have written greater works.

33 Robert Louis Stevenson encouraged Oscar Wilde to start writing at first.

34 Galsworthy thought Hardy is greater writer than Stevenson is.

35 Critics only paid attention to Robert Louis Stevenson’s writing topics.

Questions 36-40

Complete the notes using the list of words, A-I, ispod.

Write the correct letter, A-I, in boxes 36-40 on your answer sheet.

Sir Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson

A lot of people believe that Sir Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson are the most influential writer in the history of Scotland, but Sir Walter Scott is more proficient in 36 ……………………………….. , while Stevenson has better 7……………………… . Scott’s books illustrate 38………………………………. especially in terms of tragedy, but a lot of readers prefer Stevenson’s 39……………………………… . What’s more, Stevenson’s understanding of 40………………………………


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