Sven says:

Many kinds of thoughts coming up

Archive for the ‘R L Stevenson’ Category

Having finished “The Master of Ballantrae”

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Why did it take so long? It’s not a very heavy book? Nowadays I read books mostly while being out, in the subway or in a pub. At home I watch TV, read blogs, blog myself etc. Unlike Dickens and Walter Scott, Stevenson concentrates on the very action and does not give much details of landscape and gear and such. This may be the “plain” thing about the book, but it makes the story strong. It’s a long time since I read something this fascinating, even more and more towards the end.

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January 7, 2011 at 18:20

Having begun “The Master of Ballantrae”

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My pen is clear enough to tell a plain tale; but to render the effect of an infinity of small things, not one great enough in itself to be narrated; and to translate the story of looks, and the message of voices when they are saying no great matter; and to put in half a page the essence of near eighteen months – this is what I despair to accomplish.
Robert Louis Stevenson: The Master of Ballantrae, Chapter II.
It seems to me Stevenson excuses himself because his novels are not so heavy as those by Walter Scott and Charles Dickens. But I wonder if that makes them “plain”?

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December 13, 2010 at 21:39

This place has kidnapped my soul

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This was a wood of birches, growing on a steep, craggy side of a mountain that overhung the loch. It had many openings and ferny howes; and a road or bridle track ran north and south through the midst of it, by the edge of which, where was a spring, I sat down to eat some oat-bread …
Robert Louis Stevenson: Kidnapped, chapter 17.

Ian Hamilton Finlay was a poet, sculptor, and gardener. I believe he thought of this passage from Kidnapped when he created the Stevenson Memorial Grove in Edinburgh, just below the castle.

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October 7, 2010 at 16:44

Another literary man of Edinburgh

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Stevensonmonument2

This is the monument to Robert Louis Stevenson in Princes Street Gardens. I don’t know if birches had any special significance for  Stevenson, but in this context they form a truly romantic sight!

Written by svensays

June 16, 2009 at 19:54