Tales of the South Seas (Canongate Classics)

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You're using an out-of-date version of Internet Explorer. By using our site, you agree to our collection of information through the use of cookies. To learn more, view our Privacy Policy. Log In Sign Up. Tania Zulli. Journal of Stevenson Studies Volume 6 Stevenson6. Beattie Stormy nights and headless women: Robert Louis Stevenson After a journey that had lasted more than a year, astonishing, he was fascinated by places he had dreamed of since he was a child and whose descriptions he had read and listened to throughout his life.

Tales of the South Seas 02

These faraway tropical islands had nourished his imagination when in Europe and America; and his curiosity and the culture of Polynesia. Every island was a new and unique experience, a new world to be discovered, not only in geographi- cal terms, but especially in its social and cultural expressions. In a January letter to Sydney Colvin Fanny revealed that in the six weeks they had been in Apia RLS had experienced no cough, no haemorrhaging, no fever and no night sweats.

Not only could he spend long hours writing without exhaustion, but it was not unusual for him to spend entire days in the saddle exploring the island in spite of occasional tropical showers which drenched him to the skin. As a result, he often compared Polynesian Stevenson6. The root idea is there and identical, and yet I hope I have made it a new thing. And the fact that the tale has been designed and written for a Polynesian audience may lend it some extraneous interest nearer home. Typically, a white refers to his European background for consolation from a sense Stevenson6. This relation has to be analyzed in connection to the European cultural background of anxiety and discontent, which the novella transposes into a new setting.

Torn between the ideal representation of a world founded on progress and wealth on the one hand, and the profound sense of distress resulting from the loss of faith and the Darwinian fear for regres- sion on the other, writers could not avoid transferring this state of doubt to their work. In The Ebb-Tide, he investigated the typi- and degraded individuality of white colonisers in the South Seas, where immorality was more evident due to the situation of physi- cal and existential precariousness. In such a context, Western literature acquires special functions and values.

In this story, literary references work on a double level; there and a universal one in which these individuals come to embody general truths.

Tales South Seas by Stevenson

The link to European culture is presented in frequent references to disparate literary works — from Horace, Virgil, and the Bible to Shakespeare, Burns, Defoe, Goldsmith, music-hall songs, popular ballads — make the novella itself an articulate collection of narrative genres and literary forms. Desperate, starving and hopeless, at the beginning of the narration they seem to possess a single treasure: their liter- ary reminiscences. Art, in its multifarious shapes, is occasionally a way to cheerfulness, sometimes a moral support, more often an instrument for provoking recollections of past life.

The crum- bling whitewash was all full of them: Tahitian names, and French, and English, and rude sketches of ships under sail Stevenson6. He paused before a clean space, took the pencil out, and pondered. South Sea Tales, p. According to Richard Ambrosini, Herrick, by reading Virgil, tries to project his own existential failure on a universal dimension, since he is not able to tackle his sad destiny. Travels with a Donkey is taken from the Waverely Edition ; the notes indicate some of the more significant variations and omissions from the journal kept on the journey.

Notes pp. Hubbard, Tom and Duncan Glen eds. Edinburgh: The Mercat Press. A collection of texts by Stevenson on Scotland: extracts from fiction, from letters to his mother, and essays. Lewis, Roger C. The Strange Case of Dr. Hyde and Other Stories.

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Another edition, , paperback. Another edition, ; ISBN hardback. Linehan , Katherine ed. Strange Case of Dr. Hyde: an authoritative text, backgrounds and context, performance adaptations, criticism , edited by Katherine Linehan. One of the attractions of the volume are the introductions to the sections and individual extracts, together with the generous footnotes and captions to the illustrations — all showing the results of detailed research. A concise 5 pp.

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Preface emphasizes the complexity of the text and the variety of interpretations before giving an overview of the volume. Sullivan discovered in the archives of the American Antiquarian Society pp. Then follow three sections are devoted to Contexts: Literary the Double, Scottish devil tales, and Gothic monstrosity , Scientific degeneration, multiple personality, substance addiction, the situation of the homosexual , and Sociohistorical divisions in Victorian London, Victorian hypocrisy. The section on Performance Adaptations has three extracts about stage and film adaptations followed by a list of eleven important adaptations each with about half a page of comments on aspects of plot and visual presentation.

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The last major section is devoted to Criticism: short extracts from Chesterton and Nabakov , and longer ones from Garret on multiplicity and instability of meaning , Brantlinger about mass literacy and Linehan on secrecy and the exclusion of the feminine. Menikoff , Barry ed.


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Hyde and nineteen other tales , edited, with an introduction and notes, by Barry Menikoff. New York: The Modern Library, Vailima Edition, A long page Introduction an expanded version of the Introduction to Tales from… , with section 5 basically new outlines, in vigorous prose, why Stevenson is a writer of interest and relevance for readers today.

One characteristic of these stories is that they are centred on solitary characters in a desolate landscape , often readers and voyeurs like the reader — like the writer who nevertheless get caught up in moral issues. And if human will and meaning in the universe is here called into question, so also is individual identity, not by any simple duality as popular interpretation would have it but by dualities that are complex and indeterminate.

Mighall , Robert ed. London: Penguin Penguin Classics. The text is a careful transcription of the London edition, correcting the few substantial mistakes and quite heavy scattering of changes in punctuation of the previous standard Penguin edition which derives from the Tusitala edition. Phelps, William Lyon ed.

South Sea Tales

Essays of Robert Louis Stevenson. Honolulu: University Press of the Pacific. London: Penguin Puffin Books. Dedication to Charles Baxter; no introduction or notes. Kidnapped: or, The Lad with the Silver Button. Firenze: Giunti. Introduction pp Robert Louis Stevenson: Poems for Children.


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  • Claire, who acted as consultant for the choice, is Tom's year-old daughter; the anthology includes the Child's Garden and a range of other poems that appeal to children. London: Penguin Penguin Student Edition. Seelye , John ed. Treasure Island. ISBN —1. No Note on the Text. Prayers written at Vailima.

    A fine printing of the Stevenson prayers, illustrated with original lino cuts by Catherine Kanner.