Robert Louis Stevenson Studies 2001-2010
Ambrosini, Richard (2010). 'Da saggista a romanziere: continuità ed evoluzione nelle
poetiche di Robert Louis Stevenson' [From essayist to to novelist: continuity and evolution
in the poetics of RLS]. Quaderni del Premio Letterario Giuseppe Acerbi 11 ('Letteratura
[Ideas Stevenson tested during his literary apprenticeship developed into a personal theory of artistic prose which guided his essay-writing throughout the 1870s. When with Treasure Island he completed his long-delayed transition to novel-writing, he reformulated some of these earlier ideas as a poetics of fiction. In the very same days in which he decided to revise the boys' story for an adult readership, Stevenson started working on an essay, 'A Gossip on Romance', in which he made explicit the continuity between his first novel and a model for a modern epic he had first theorized eight years earlier in Menton. Fundamentally, if he wrote adventure romances rather than realistic novels it was because he believed he had gained an insight into the potentials of romance for revitalizing, in a period that coincided with a mass editorial market, timeless forms of archetypical story-telling.]
Annwn, David (2010). '“The Gnome's Lighted Scrolls”: consumererism and pre-cinematic
visual technologies in The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde'. Journal of Stevenson
Studies 7 (2010): 9-31.
[Utterson's nightmare, rather than anticipating cinematic techniques (Prawer 1980), should be seen as using the visual resources of pre-cinematic media (as did Le Fanu and Stoker): strips of images for projection ('scroll of lighted pictures'), spinning imagedevices ('move the more swiftly and still the more swiftly, even to dizziness'), the bird's eye views of the panorama spectacle and the pre-cinematic range of shots and jump cuts of the magic-lantern show. These are used (i) to explore optical-cognitive processes, (ii) to present multiplied repeated images of a faceless Hyde which (together with the troubling street of shops, and the miserable scenes of Soho) build up a picture of destructive and dehumanising capitalism.]
Arata, Stephen (2010). 'Stevenson and Fin-de-Siècle Gothic'. In Penny Fielding (ed.). The
Edinburgh Companion to Robert Louis Stevenson. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
[Late 19C Gothic writers (Stoker, Machen, Marsh, Haggard, Wilde), interested in ab- and paranormal states of consciousness, write with stylistic excess. In contrast, S is interested in more 'normal' states ('unconscious cerebration', especially dreaming, feelings of alienation etc.) and their connection with the process of literary creation. His style is typically more restrained: the troubling winking dog ('Dreams'), the quiet domesticity of Jekyll's room, where uncanniness is produced by suggestion of meaning and the subtly 'skewed' language. S shares typical Gothic anxieties but adds personal ones from his Calvinistic upbringing and Scottish identity (divided between Highlands—authentic but archaic— and Lowlands culture—modern but not authentically Scottish). 'Thrawn Janet': a confrontation of modern and traditional societies, leaving Soulis 'wild, scared and uncertain' between the two. 'The Body Snatcher': a non-gory psychological drama focussed on duplicity and the terrors of conscience. 'The Merry Men': another confrontation of traditional and modern Scottish culture, focussed on individual psychic drama in uncle and nephew. Jekyll is the descendent of Soulis, Fettes and the elder Darnaway, burdened by feelings of innate depravity. Once again we see repression leading to hypocrisy and madness. S's interest is in 'multiplex personality' and 'unconscious cerebration'; the uncanny is emphasized by what is not said: Hyde cannot be described, a parable is suggested but no final meaning can be deduced. S refuses catharsis or closure—JH remains disturbingly suspended and unresolved.]
Avery, Todd (2010). 'The Real Robert Louis Stevenson' [review of Roslyn Jolly, Robert
Louis Stevenson in the Pacific, 2009]. English Literature in Transition, 1880-1920 53.iii:
'In the fin-de-siècle world of Anglo-American literary journalism, there developed a sort of critical war-game to fix the elusive signifier “Robert Louis Stevenson” to a definite signified. [...] Was the real RLS the author of charming, exquisitely crafted impressionist essays and travel writings? [...] the romancer [...]? the near-mythical Tusitala [...]? [...] the psychologizer [...]? [...] The dominant tradition in Stevenson criticism stretched across the twentieth century, fetishized Stevenson's life at the expense of detailed attention to the wide topical and generic range of his writings, and almost completely excluded the nonfictional works he produced while travelling in the South Pacific and as resident in Samoa. [...]
[Jolly] makes a convincing case for the multifacetedness of Stevenson's identity and current significance as a writer; foregrounding several works of late nonfiction [...] Jolly's “underlying contention” is that Stevenson's South Pacific nonfiction works “are [as] important to an understanding of the range and complexity of his oeuvre” as the fiction that Stevenson produced during this period or earlier, and that these relatively ignored works confirm “our sense of Stevenson's versatility and interest, not to mention his literary and social relevance to the modern world.” [...]
[T]he politically, scientifically, and historically driven works of his last years represented the expression both of a sense of political and moral obligation to serve the world and of a new aesthetic in which unfamiliar, even exotic, subject matter was treated not romantically but in a realism suffused with symbolic and generally anti-imperial import. [...]
From our perspective Stevenson appears at once more multifarious, incongruous, and independent than ever—a writer who, beginning with his departure from Britain in late 1887, did not so much move from romance to realism, sentiment to science, art to utility, entertainment to information, charm to intervention but negotiated and embodied emerging tensions between these pairs of seeming opposites. Jolly [...] describes a complex referent who eludes both homogenization and domestication.'
Bland, Jay (2010). The Generation of Edward Hyde. The Animal Within, from Plato to
Darwin to Robert Louis Stevenson. Oxford, Bern etc.: Peter Lang.
[Bland puts Hyde in a 'Wild Man' tradition that includes ancient and medieval texts, Swift's Yahoos, Spenser's Wild Man and Kingsley's Doasyoulikes—a larger intellectual tradition that has been overlooked in the general critical concentration on Darwinism. From the publisher's presentation: 'The chosen texts show that, as time passes and knowledge of the natural world increases through exploration and scientific learning, earlier ways of looking at the world, instead of being replaced by new ideas, come to serve as a mythic or poetic way of accommodating such new ideas, absorbing the new and incorporating it into the old mythological framework. The dissertation attempts to demonstrate how this tradition feeds naturally into Stevenson's text, providing a Darwinian-biblical- Platonic context within which to examine Hyde.]
Colley, Anne C. (2010). 'Snowbound with Stevenson'. In Victorians in the Mountains:
Sinking the Sublime. Farnham: Ashgate.
[The chapter on Stevenson is a version of the RLS2008 paper then published in European Stevenson as 'Stevenson and the Davos Winter Landscape' (pp 53-69).]
Colley, Anne C. (2010). 'Robert Louis Stevenson's South Seas Crossings'. In U. C.
Knoepflmacher and Logan D. Browning (eds). Victorian Hybridities: Cultural Anxiety and
Formal Innovation. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press. Pp. 129-43.
[Author's summary: When R. L. Stevenson travelled through the Pacific islands, he was acutely aware of the inhabitants' loss of cultural memory. Stevenson, however, did not dwell exclusively upon the destructive incursions of metropolitan culture. Rather, he was more interested in witnessing and experiencing the complex and, at times, mundane nature of the cultural exchanges between the Europeans and the native populations. This chapter explores Stevenson's fascination with the cross-cultural dynamic that could occasionally eradicate the presumed differences between the two societies and even defy or subvert confidence in colonial authority by weakening and undermining it while at the same time bringing about the downfall of indigenous cultural practices. Stevenson concentrated on what is now popularly known as the "contact zones" by locating his Pacific writings in places where the encounters between Westerners and indigenous peoples created "hybrids" that were neither completely European nor completely native, and through which the balance of power could be easily unsettled. Throughout, Stevenson was clear in his conviction that hybridity remained an ongoing feature of all cultural intersections. Living within the site of empire forced Stevenson to recognize the tensions and incongruities embedded within such a dynamic.]
Duncan, Ian (2010). 'Stevenson and Fiction'. In Penny Fielding (ed). The Edinburgh
Companion to Robert Louis Stevenson. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, pp. 11-26.
[S was excluded from the literary canon because he did not write novels as defined by twentieth-century criticism. As a reaction to 'the mass literary age', serious and popular literature were clearly distinguished. In contrast with this, S combines popular romance with a careful style: part of his strategy of rejecting the Victorian novel, especially Scott. He gets beyond Scott in particular thanks to his careful style, his repudiation of Romantic Scotland in Ballantrae, and the fin-de-siècle 'sex and destiny' dimension of Weir.
He gets beyond the mimesis and symbolism of the great Victorian novel (i) by experiments in the simple style of oral narrative; (ii) in the Florizel tales, romances of artifice and play in a fragmentary, meaningless world of appearances where characters lack authentic interiority; (iii) in Ballantrae and Weir, which deal with dispersed modern life in discontinuous narratives emphasizing the importance of the arbitrary. In contrast with the Victorian novel tradition, S's is an 'art of surface, extension, sequence, juxtaposition, friction and flow'.]
Fielding, Penny (2010). ʻStevensonʼs Poetryʼ. In Penny Fielding (ed.). The Edinburgh Companion to Robert Louis Stevenson. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. 102-117.
[Sʼs poetry looks backward to Romantic conventions and forwards in poems of cities and interacting inner and outer life. Many poems are about loss of home or childhood— though the focus is not nostalgic but the workings of memory.
S worked on the sound of his poems, experimented with metrical forms, carefully unites rhythm, metre and thought, e.g. ʻSkerryvore: The Parallelʼ. Here, ʻdispetalsʼ contains a favourite prefix denoting change—for S the environment is ʻnever quite present before the viewing subjectʼ. Many CGV poems have a voice in non-linear time, shifting between adult poet and child subject. In ʻTo S.C.ʼ, ʻhereʼ and ʻthereʼ are blurred in memory, creating a dislocated world where all experience is relative.
In ʻThe Tropics Vanishʼ the geographical focus expands and contracts. In ʻThe Woodmanʼ there is a sense of alienation—the Samoan woods remain ʻunmeaningʼ. The poet is ʻa much darker and desperate figure than we commonly read in his poetryʼ.]
Fore, Dana (2010). 'Snatching Identity: “passing” and disabled monstrosity in Stevenson's
Jekyll and Hyde and “The Body Snatcher”'. Journal of Stevenson Studies 7 (2010): 33-54.
[Stevenson can be seen as the type of disabled person who is acutely aware of prejudices against disability. 'Ordered South' explores (for the only time in his works) the physical and mental alienation of chronic illness. In Jekyll and Hyde the murder of Carew can be seen as the intolerable provocation felt by the deformed Hyde. JH confirms fears of normal people of how deformity affects personality--this can be seen as Stevenson 'passing' as a normal person. At the same time he sees this as unjust: he condemns the voyeuristic curiosity of Utterson, and can pity the social isolation of Hyde and Jekyll. In 'The Body Snatcher' he creates a body-centred universe in which the revenant (the monstrous disabled body) does not bring traditional revenge, but destroys personalities and social lives.]
Hames, Scott (2010). 'A Box of Toys: Robert Louis Stevenson and Andrew O'Hagan'.
Edinburgh Review 130 (Autumn 2010). Also at academia.edu
[Because of his focus on play and the imagination, Stevenson has had little influence on twentieth-century Scottish literature with its emphasis on the 'authentic'. Stevenson, instead, values surface and the reading experience. Of the few contemporary Scottish writers who follow Stevenson's tradition is Andrew O'Hagan. His 'easeful observation' makes 'the discursive good to taste'. In a message to Hames, O'Hagan explains that the protagonist of The Life and Times of Maf the Dog, and of his Friend Marilyn Monroe (2010) is 'a Stevensonian dog: [...] he cares about the small dramas of invention, of self-invention [...]. I've always felt that Stevenson was the best of the Scottish prose writers, because he understood how sentences themselves could embody the very weight and measure of human invention [...] he knew that fictional prose was perhaps the greatest vehicle of human consciousness, and he had the generosity of spirit not to exclude the possibility that everything [...] could be carried in sentences. That was of course deeply inspiring to me.']
Hesse, Beatrix (2010). ʻThe Unco Tales of Robert Louis Stevenson in German Translationʼ.
international journal of scottish literature 7 (Autumn/Winter 2010).
[A study of strategies and choices in four German translations of ʻTod Lapriakʼ and four of ʻThrawn Janetʼ. Translators have chosen ʻmarkers of oralityʼ rather than dialect to remind readers of the subjectivity of the embedded narrative. The ʻhauntingʼ presence of the other language may add to the uncanny effect of a translated ʻuncanny taleʼ, compensating in part for inevitable losses in translation.]
Irvine, Robert (2010). 'Romance and Social Class'. In Penny Fielding (ed). The Edinburgh
Companion to Robert Louis Stevenson. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, pp. 27-40.
[Late 19th-century adventure stories often use remote settings to confirm the naturalness of the social hierarchy (threatened at home). Treasure Island preserves the traditional hierarchy in a safe 18th-century setting and Jim's spontaneous allegiance to it apparently vindicates its naturalness, yet it is undermined by Silver's assumption of gentlemanly behaviour undermines this. Similarly, in the Florizel tales, each new character instinctively feels the Prince's natural authority, yet we know he doesn't possess instinctive knowledge of how to act rightly. In The Ebb-Tide Attwater brings out the social distinction of Herrick from his companions, but at the end, while Davis submits to his 'natural' authority, Herrick distances himself from it. RLS has an anti-liberal stance—his characters are placed in pre-existing hierarchies of power, but he refuses to confirm any metaphysical justification for them.]
Jolly, Roslyn (2010). ʻStevenson and the Pacificʼ. In Penny Fielding (ed.). The Edinburgh Companion to Robert Louis Stevenson. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. 118-133.
[Sʼs writing was changed by his Pacific experience. S was influenced by Romantic primitivism, but then became more interested in interpreting Pacific societies on their own terms: as a tradition totally alien to ʻthe Roman Empireʼ yet also with affinities to Scottish Highlanders. He studied the systems of traditional island life, the trade contact with whites and the effects of colonial administration. New experiences led to new kinds of writing: political analysis, anthropological studies, and a new realism that undermined adventure and romance.
The natural environment, sea-travel and observations of diverse Pacific society all influenced his writing and in interestingly different ways. The Wrecker is about trade and voyaging from port to port; ʻFalesáʼ is centred on island life and how Wiltshire understands he has to engage with local beliefs and local society; The Ebb-Tide is centred on a fantasy island used to examine the effects of colonization, power and violence.]
Kestner, Joseph A. (2010). Masculinities in British Adventure Fiction, 1880–1915.
[Victorian and Edwardian adventure fiction in the light of recent masculinity theories and focussing on initiation and rites of passage, experiences with the non-Western Other, colonial contexts and sexual encounters. Sections on oe (28-34), The Ebb-Tide (90-94) and 'The Beach of Falesá' (pp. 149-53).]
Lacey, Nicola (2010). 'Psychologising Jekyll, Demonizing Hyde: The Strange Case of
Criminal Responsibility'. Criminal Law and Philosophy 4.ii: 109-33.
[Looks at JH in the context of ideas about 'criminal responsibility' (the focus of the paper), evolving from judgements based on 'character' to a psychological approach which takes into account not only insanity but also unconscious acts, i.e. both permanent and temporary 'mental incapacity'. (The paper then argues that there has been a return to character-based responsibility in recent years.) 'The “terror” of Stevenson's story resides in its questioning of whether either scientific knowledge or moral evaluation of character can provide a stable basis for attributions of responsibility'. 'Jekyll and Hyde stands for a world in transition and in crisis: juxtaposing evolutionary biology, psychological medicine and biblical judgment; informed by modern 'science' yet deeply preoccupied by moral conventions, it leaves the reader perplexed about the proper way in which to attribute responsibility for Jekyll's imperfectly realised self-control and Hyde's manifestly criminal acts'.]
Largeaud-Ortega, Sylvie (2010). 'Robert Louis Stevenson's “The Isle of Voices”: the stakes of modernity in the late 19th century Pacific', Webistem.
Lim, Jeremy (2010). 'Calvinism and forms of storytelling: Mackellar's parental voice in The
Master of Ballantrae'. Journal of Stevenson Studies 7: 83-105.
[Lim argues the case for 'loyalty to an equivocal Calvinism' as a context for interpreting S'. (i) His essay on Knox sees the value of local Church-society interaction in Scottish Presbyterianism (Knox's relation with women followers) and its association with Scottish folk storytelling tradition (through an involvement in politics [a point made on p. 88 but not clear to me]). (ii) S's 'self-conscious view of language and literature' [and perhaps interest in the morality of writing] derives from Cummy's guilty love of light fiction and readings of emotionally-charged tales of Covenanters. (iii) In Ballantrae, 'S critiques and ultimately supports Mackellar's authority and his right to rigidly control the lives of the Duries and their estates'. 'A figure of stability and changelessness', he works to maintain family and estate through his documentary writing.]
Lyon, John (2010). ʻStevenson and Henry Jamesʼ. In Penny Fielding (ed.). The Edinburgh Companion to Robert Louis Stevenson. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. 134-146.
[RLS and HJ met at a lunch in 1879. In contrast with fellow-diners Gosse and Lang, they resisted the role of London man-of-letters through deliberately adopted roles that (on this first meeting) aroused mutual suspicion. They later became close friends: HJ mentions ʻthe great R.L.S.ʼ in his deathbed dictations and S seems to be an influence on his Princess Casamassima and uncanny tales. The debate on ʻThe Art of Literatureʼ brought them together, united by a belief in the high value of prose fiction. J emphasizes complex subjective realism, while S sees the real as chaotic (ʻmonstrous, illogical... inarticulateʼ) and art as essentially simplifying and ʻpoeticʼ.
In the 1890s, S moved towards realism, while J became interested in the difficulty of knowing anything, and in the ʻPrefacesʼ even defends romance and the merely possible.]
Reid, Julia (2010). 'Childhood and Psychology'. In Penny Fielding (ed). The Edinburgh
Companion to Robert Louis Stevenson. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, pp. 41-52.
[In early essays RLS discusses the the primitivism of children's spontaneous dance and make-believe and their continuation in adult artistic creativity. In this area, he and child psychologist James Sully mutually influenced each other. But for RLS childhood imagination could also invigorate the lives of all adults, in romance, oral narratives and dreams. With an addition of Romantic nostalgia, the Child's Garden celebrates the child's creative imagination and primitive personification of the inanimate (Sully cites some of its poems in his Studies of Childhood). In other poems and elsewhere RLS sees childhood fears and suffering, augmented by imagination, as producing negative psychological consequences. So for RLS childhood imagination was both 'invigorating savage survival' and 'pathologically morbid'. Weir casts doubt on the revitalising power of traditional ballad and expressive dialect. Even The Black Arrow (1883) shows the destructive nature of primitive forces. The essays explore the rejuvenating power of the child's fantasy, but the fiction adds scepticism about its curative value.]
Wasson, Sara (2010). 'Olalla's legacy: Twentieth-century vampire fiction and genetic
previvorship'. Journal of Stevenson Studies 7 (2010): 55-81.
['Olalla' has commonly been seen as an exploration of late-nineteenth-century fears of atavism and evolutionary degeneration. But it can also be seen in terms of present-day helplessness towards revealed genetic inheritance. Unlike Dracula, the vampirism in 'Olalla' is transmitted not by infection but by genetic transmission. (Though Mendel's work was still unknown in 1885, the idea of genetic transmission and some form of explanation had been proposed by Darwin and further investigated by Galton). Olalla's horror and helplessness is similar to modern 'previvors', individuals whose DNA reveals tendency towards a disease not yet developed. Her inherited vampirism resembles that of vampire stories from the 1990s probably inspired by this modern form of the Stevenson's earlier genetic anxiety.]
Abrahamson, Robert-Louis. ‘“Of some use to me afterwards”: Stevenson’s Pivotal Experience in Mentone’. In Ambrosini and Dury (eds.) (2009): 37-51.
[The six months in Mentone 1873-4 as a turning point in S’s career –conversations and correspondence with Colvin – contact with French culture, painters, Americans, flirtatious older women – experiments with confusion unstable identity and point-of-view in ‘Ordered South’ – new literary activity after Christmas – stay in Paris with Bob and other art students on the way home.]
Ambrosini, Richard (2009). 'History, Criticism, Theory, and the Strange Case of Joseph Conrad and R. L. Stevenson'. In Dryden et al. 2009: ***-***.
Ambrosini, Richard (2009). ‘“The Man was at My Mercy (So Far as Any Credit Went)”: A Counter-reading of Mackellar’s Narrative in The Master of Ballantrae’.
Mariaconcetta Costantini, Francesco Marroni, Anna Enrichetta Soccio (eds) (2009). Letter(s). Functions and Forms of Letter-Writing in Victorian Art and Literature. Roma: Aracne. 175-211.
[A study of how Mackellar’s narrative is undermined by the interplay of (i) the historical frame of the tale and its writing, (ii) the letters, documents etc. quoted or alluded to in the text, and (iii) the Editor’s Preface. The dates of 1756 (Burke’s informative letter to Mackkelar and the outbreak of the Seven Years’ War) and 1789 (Mackellar’s sealing up of his memoir and the beginning of the French Revolution) place the action clearly in a vast historical context. Ambrosini esamines the significance of these dates and associated documents and the importance of partly quoted letters and the veiled suggestion of ‘an alternative story about a hot-headed young aristocrat […] betrayed by his own brother’. ]
Ambrosini, Richard. ‘The Miracle: Robert Louis Stevenson in the History of European Literature’ . In Ambrosini and Dury (eds.) (2009): 127-45.
[Bakhtin’s account of the adventure novel from classical times to Defoe – Defoe excluded from the genteel tradition – Scott reconfigures Defoe’s conventions to create the historical novel – great European influence – meanwhile pure ‘adventure’ narratives left to cheap popular media – S’s miracle: renewing the connection between adventure and artistic literature, thereby inaugurating a Golden Age of adventure narratives. Recognition of S among serious writers was more enduring in Europe – two examples: Jacques Rivières manifesto for ‘Le roman d’aventure’ and Brecht’s cycle of Bargan short stories.]
Ambrosini, Richard and Richard Dury (eds.) (2009). European Stevenson. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. 978-1443814362. 280 pp. £37.99 from Amazon (www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1443814369).
[Publisher’s presentation: ‘Edinburgh, late 1860s. Two young gentlemen, two cousins, their heads buzzing with ideas and artistic ambitions (one dreaming of becoming a painter, the other a writer), hang over North Bridge ‘watching the trains start southward and longing to start too’, the Walter Scott Monument a short way behind them, but their eyes fixed on the tracks leading South - not just to London, but also, and especially, to Paris.’ In their Introduction the editors of this volume see this scene with his painter cousin as symbolically significant for the career of Robert Louis Stevenson and his connection with Europe - especially France; a connection that is a key to understanding his confidence to ignore the Scott Monument and start writing his major narratives in the 1880s and 90s. [...] The volume aims to show how European culture contributed to Stevenson’s greatest achievements and then to explain why, with Stevenson ignored by Anglo-American critics for most of the twentieth century, he remained an admired model for European writers.]
Ambrosini, Richard and Richard Dury, ‘Stevenson and Europe’. In Ambrosini and Dury (eds.) (2009): 1-16.
[Stevenson as essayist in the 1870s, his contact with France, home of artistic innovation and discussion - importance of his relationship with Bob and Colvin - development of ideas on art through conversation and correspondence - influence of Japanese art and Impressionism and contact with student painters - interest in new French writing, admiration for Montaigne and Dumas - continuity between early contact with Continental aesthetics and later narratives – Continental reception not affected by negative opinions on prose stylism and adventure fiction – interest in France, Germany and Italy during the years of Anglo-American rejection.]
Barefoot, Guy. ‘Lost and Found in Translation and Adaptation: Walerian Borowczyk and Docteur Jekyll et les Femmes (1981)’ . In Ambrosini and Dury (eds.) (2009): 241-52.
[A faithful-unfaithful translation – introduces women and sadistic sexuality, mothers and family relations – yet also returns to the original: J and H played by different actors, mirrors are a repeated motif, almost all the named characters in JH are present – an adaptation involves reworking what is in the text – can also include what seems suppressed in it and take into account how the work has been previously adapted – B’s impossibly rejection of restraint reflects Jekyll’s dilemma.]
Beattie, Hilary J. ‘Stormy nights and headless women: heterosexual conflict and desire in the work of Robert Louis Stevenson’ . Journal of Stevenson Studies 6 (2009): 63-80.
[S’s homoerotic themes often studied, but disturbing heterosexual fantasies also important (principally a desire for adult females combined with fear of domination) –early poem ‘Stormy Nights’ associates sexual anxiety and stormy nights – musings in letters about the headless Fates among the Elgin Marbles: attraction and fear of powerful women – licentious female characters in ‘Thrawn Janet’ and ‘The Body-Snatcher’ dismembered or decapitated in association with nocturnal storms – other stories feature paired older/younger women one or both dangerously dominating or with masculine associations, with climactic scenes often associated with night storms.]
Benfante, Marcello (2009). ‘L’incantatore e il suo doppio’ [The enchanter and his double]. Introduction to Robert Louis Stevenson. Racconti irriverenti. Faenza: Mobydick.
[Introduction to the translation of the two ‘Yale fables’ in seven sections: (i) the two fables, with their Voltairian irony and paradox, are an outstanding assault on every kind of authoritarianism; (ii) rejection of S by critics; (iii) Qualities admired in S: childlike vision – mythic-poetic power felt immediately by the reader – enthusiasm – Stevenson applies an ‘arte combinatoria’ to the plot – unites psychological novel and adventure romance, realism and the fantastic – adventure also parodied and problematized; (iv) ‘Persons of the Tale’: dialogue reminiscent of Pirandello that reveals all the irresolvable bipolarity of S’s art; S interested in form, obsessed by ethics, with a passion for imaginative invention; (v) lightness, elegance, constant surprises; (vi) unreal realism; even historical narratives ‘are theatres of fiction, home of conjectures and misadventures’, ‘a disorienting writer whose pleasant readability hides disturbing problems of existence’; (vii) his heroes are also antiheroes, constantly threatened by their shadow; roles are inverted; S’s stories are never comfortable, yet there is always ‘a consoling song to human frailty’; JH is not didactic, it is totally indefinable; the scientific ape ‘makes fun of edifying lessons and invites his brother the hypocrite lecteur to listen again to his own neverending story’.
Brazzelli, Nicoletta. ‘Maps, treasures and imaginary lands: Haggard’s King Solomon’s Mines as a response to Stevenson’s Treasure Island’ . Journal of Stevenson Studies 6 (2009): 199-214.
[In their literary essays, both S and Haggard celebrated the romance and highlighted its universal character – KSM was written to outdo TI – the map in both is a teasing ‘real’ document – also accompanied an act of appropriation like the maps accompanying the Empire – both are a quest for wealth, lying inert in a primitive space – appropriated by Union-Jack flying gentlemen or typical British colonialist men – both take place in wild, hostile environments, a landscape of Otherness fit for masculine achievements.]
Bungaro, Monica (2009). ‘Cross-Cultural Encounters: In the South Seas and Heart of Darkness'. In Dryden et al. 2009: ***-***.
Bunge, Nancy (2009). Anticipating Freud and Jung: Heart of Darkness and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde'. In Dryden et al. 2009: ***-***.
Bunge, Nancy (2009). ‘The Calvinistic romance: Nathaniel Hawthorne and Robert Louis Stevenson’s Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’. Journal of Stevenson Studies 6: 167-79.
[S praises Hawthorne on several occasions, sees him as the major romance writer of the age – they share a common perspective on the results of hypocrisy and the constrictions of society – many echoes in Dr Jekyll in H’s three tales of arrogant scientists who seek a vain perfection.]
Colley, Ann (2009). ‘Conrad, Stevenson, and Cannibalism: Journeying out of the Comfort Zone'. In Dryden et al. 2009: ***-***.
Colley, Ann C. ‘Stevenson and the Davos Winter Landscape’. In Ambrosini and Dury (eds.) (2009): 53-69.
[Conventional enthusiasm of the Alps – RLS unresponsive despite friendship with Lesley Stephen, great Alpinist – S in Davos imprisoned by sickness and mountains – importance for S of travelling and the moving body in the appreciation of landscape – affinities with his prose style: non-linear essays and constant surprises and fresh perceptions like those of the walker – irregular movement combined with restful moments, exemplified in descriptions of warercourses – avos in contrast was uninspiringly monotonous.]
Danahay, Martin (2009). The Double and the City in Stevenson and Conrad'. In Dryden et al. 2009: ***-***.
Davies, Laurence (2009). 'Telling Them Apart: Doubles in Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and ‘The Secret Sharer’.'. In Dryden et al. 2009: ***-***.
Davies, Laurence , ‘The Time of His Time: Travels with a Donkey and An Inland Voyage’. In Ambrosini and Dury (eds.) (2009): 73-89.
[Model for later travel writers: focus on distinctive means of transport combined with holiday escape and slow travel – S’s exploration of unstable identity – awareness of recent historical events and French ways of seeing the world – Travels as a meditation on violence – exploration of the relativity of space and time.]
De Young, Andrew. ‘The case of the missing detective: detection, deception and delicacy in Jekyll and Hyde’. Journal of Stevenson Studies 6 (2009): 181-97.
[JH can be seen as a mystery story lacking the central detective (Newcomen is discredited and marginalized) –detective often seen at the time as linked with criminals and an intrusion on middle-class society – Utterson adopts the role of detective but maintains middle-class solidarity – the reader has the indelicate task of piecing together clues from the last chapters.]
Dierkes, Andreas (2009). A Strange Case Reconsidered: Zeitgenössische Bearbeitungen von R. L. Stevensons Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
[...: Recent reworkings of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde]. Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann (Text und Theorie Bd. 9)..
[Since the late 1970s Stevenson’s Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde has been a model for a number of reworkings in novels and short stories, most of them narrated from a new point-of-view and offering an interesting insight into contemporary cultural influences. After overviews of common interpretative approaches and the general history of the text’s reception, the volume (a PhD thesis form the University of Paderborn) continues with case-studies of seven adaptations, classified as sequels and rewrites in Victorian and in modern settings.]
Donovan, Stephen (2009). ‘Pleasant Spectres and Malformed Shades: Stevenson, Conrad, and Spiritualism'. In Dryden et al. 2009: ***-***.
Dryden, Linda (2009). 'Introduction: Stevenson and Conrad: Writing ‘Twixt Land and Sea'. In Dryden et al. 2009: ***-***.
Dryden, Linda, Stephen Arata & Eric Massie (eds.) (2009). Robert Louis Stevenson and Joseph Conrad: Writers of Transition. Lubbock, Texas: Texas Tech University Press
[Publisher’s presentation: ‘The first book-length study to specifically examine the many intersections in the works of Robert Louis Stevenson and Joseph Conrad, this volume extends the focus of current debate beyond the writers’ South Seas literature. Considering Stevenson and Conrad’s shared literary history and experience of Victorian London, it examines their convergence of styles in the emergent modernism of the fin de siècle, their romance and adventure modes, their fictions of duality, and their exploration of the human psyche. Moreover, the book recuperates Stevenson’s reputation as a serious writer, not only as Conrad’s antecedent and influence but as a writer equally worthy of study in these shared modes.’ Review: Roderick Watson. Journal of Stevenson Studies 6 (2009): 236-42]
Fuller, Graham (2009). ‘The Dualist’. Sight and Sound 19.i: 40-44.
[A survey and discussion of the best films based on the work of Stevenson. Apart from the 1945 Body Snatcher and the 1920 Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde with John Barrymore (Mamoulian’s version is here unusually judged less interesting), Fuller chooses the 1950 Treasure Island (with Robert Newton’s performance seen as ‘close to greatness’), and two TV-films: the 1978 Kidnapped , and the 1998 Ebb-Tide. The Wyeth illustrations for four Stevenson ‘romances’ are also praised as powerful visual interpretations of Stevenson’s work.]
Giglioni, Cinzia. ‘One of Stevenson’s Most Important French Encounters: Michel de Montaigne’. In Ambrosini and Dury (eds.) (2009): 199-210.
[Montaigne one of S’s favourite authors – model for some of his essays– similar subjects – use of concrete everyday examples, personal references and anecdotes – testing of ideas by inverting commonplaces – discontinuities, inserted short narratives – also a similar sceptical mind-style and the use of false modesty.]
Giroud, ‘Vincent. Cocteau and Stevenson’ . In Ambrosini and Dury (eds.) (2009): 185-98.
[Cocteau invokes S as a model for a particular type of writing (adventurous, exotic, also grotesquely humorous) in a draft of a 1923 novel – Cocteau was reading Stevenson in 1917 and refers to JH in relation to his film La Belle et la bête – would have known S in the numerous French translations – C was adviser to niche publishers La Sirène, which planned and partly produced a complete works of RLS in translation – for C, S was probably escapist literature in the richest sense and relief from a certain avant-garde.]
Goh, Robbie (2009). 'The Geopolitics of Criticism: The Sea as Liminal Symbol in The Ebb Tide and An Outcast the Islands.'. In Dryden et al. 2009: ***-***.
Graham, Lesley. ‘I Have a Little Shadow: Travellers after Stevenson in the Cévennes’ . In Ambrosini and Dury (eds.) (2009): 91-107.
[Many followers of S’s footsteps in the Cévennes have written narratives shadowing TWAD – typically presenting themselves as ‘true followers’, aiming to uncover the real S – exploring continuity and change in landscape and community – remark on feelings of contact with S and feelings of uncanny doubling and repetition – aim to uncover by direct perception yet inevitably also disguise their own motives and methods.]
Hampson, Robert (2009). ‘Island Tales: Treasure Island and Victory'. In Dryden et al. 2009: ***-***.
Hemmerle, Joachim. ‘A Yiddish Treasure Island Translation and its Cultural Background’ . In Ambrosini and Dury (eds.) (2009): 227-40.
[Alef Katz’ Yiddish translation of Treasure Island (1927) was part of a movement to translate important significant texts supported by its New York publisher – the volume was prepared with great care, with Biography and appreciation of S, Glossary, Auxiliary texts and Note from the translator – intelligent and respectful translation – translation techniques.]
Hirsch, Gordon. ‘The rejection of dichotomous thinking in Stevenson’s literary essays’ . Journal of Stevenson Studies 6 (2009): 81-96.
[S (perhaps in reaction to Calvinism) rejected ‘dichotomous thinking’ – We see this in the literary essays – Villon, poet and thief – S’s comments on Goethe and ‘the truly mingled tissue of man’s nature’ – Pepys’s acceptance of his own contradictions – Whitman’s praise of the ‘whole world... with its manifold contradictions’ – the admired Wrayburne (in Our Mutual Friend) and his moment when he attracts and repels at once – The Preface to Familiar Studies criticizes Carlyle’s judgmental stance and tries to further see his subjects as mixtures of virtues and shortcomings.]
Holmes, Morgan. ‘Donkeys, Englishmen, and Other Animals: The Precarious Distinctions of Victorian Interspecies Morality’ . In Ambrosini and Dury (eds.) (2009): 109-124.
[RLS, sincere opponent of cruelty to animals, describes his violent treatment of Modestine –TWAD subtly exposes nationally-based attitudes towards animals – English humanity towards animals called into question as the narrator takes on the behaviour of brutal Continental – his typically-mobile persona changes for the sentimental parting from the donkey, but the basic questioning of English superiority remains.]
Hustis, Harriet (2009). ʻHyding Nietzsche in Robert Louis Stevensonʼs Gothic of Philosophyʼ. Studies in English Literature 1500-1900 49.iv: 993-1007.
[JH deceptively encourages interpretation in terms of clear dichotomies. Henry James wondered if it was intentional philosophy or irresponsible fiction and decides for the latter, but Sʼs account of the origin of the tale in ʻA Chapter on Dreamsʼ deconstructs intentionality: waking and dreaming self are indistinguishable, ʻBrowniesʼ are responsible for much of the creation (including the central idea of voluntary/involuntary action) and the account shifts between 1st- and 3rd-person perspective.
In Beyond Good and Evil (also 1886) Nietzsche says that good things are involved in ʻseemingly opposite thingsʼ and intentions are never pure. JH similarly presents a synthesis of good and evil within an apparent antithesis. Jekyll has incompatible views on the matter: (i) he admits (like Nietzsche) that good and evil are interrelated, but (ii) claims his intentions are good and insists that good and evil be physically differentiated. The latter view (and the insistence on the pure evil of Hyde) can be seen as a subterfuge to avoid admitting the first.
The Gothic questions boundaries and origins and undermines interpretative control via fragmented and unreliable perspectives. The ʻGothic of philosophyʼ questions intentionality and destabilizes boundaries of self and other and of good and evil. Both S and Nietzsche see hypocrisy embedded in the class structure and degeneration expressed in middle-class ʻvirtueʼ.
Jaëck, Nathalie (2009). 'Conrad’s and Stevenson’s logbooks and “paperboats”: attempts in textual wreckage.'. In Dryden et al. 2009: ***-***.
Jaëck, Nathalie. ‘To jump or not to jump: Stevenson’s kidnapping of adventure’ . Journal of Stevenson Studies 6 (2009): .
[The jump is a classical adventure-story topos – in Kidnapped Alan makes adventurous leaps but David only makes halfjumps – his adventures unheroic (ignominy on the island, hesitation crossing the river) – other potentially adventurous situations downgraded – fast action replaced by a broken, random course across country (reflected in the map) – David deconstructs the adventure genre.]
Jolly, Roslyn (2009). Robert Louis Stevenson in the Pacific. Travel, Empire, and the Author’s Profession. Aldershot: Ashgate. 978-0-7546-6195-5. 206 pp.
[From the Publisher’s presentation: ‘Roslyn Jolly examines the crucial period from 1887 to 1894, focusing on the self-transformation wrought in Stevenson’s Pacific travel-writing and political texts. Jolly shows how Stevenson’s desire to understand unfamiliar Polynesian and Micronesian cultures, and to record and intervene in the politics of Samoa, gave him opportunities to use his legal education, pursue his interest in historiography, and experiment with anthropology and journalism. [...] Rather than enhancing his stature as a popular writer, however, Stevenson’s experiments with new styles and genres, and the Pacific subject matter of his later works, were resisted by his readers. Jolly’s analysis of contemporary responses to Stevenson’s writing, gleaned from an extensive collection of reviews, many of which are not readily available, provides fascinating insights into the interests, obsessions, and resistances of Victorian readers. As Stevenson sought to escape the vocational straightjacket that confined him, his readers just as strenuously expressed their loyalty to outmoded images of Stevenson the author, and their distrust of the new guises in which he presented himself.’
Richard Ambrosini: ‘We all sensed that another Stevenson was there all along, hidden in his texts, his letters, and his biographies, clouded over by the romantic legend he had himself spun out of his life and especially out of his final years in the South Seas. With the appearance of Roslyn Jolly’s Robert Louis Stevenson in the Pacific, this other Stevenson finally begins to emerge, which is why her book represents the most important breakthrough in Stevenson studies since the 1994 publication of the author’s Collected Letters.’
Review: Review: Oliver S. Buckton, Cruising with Robert Louis Stevenson: Travel, Narrative and the Colonial Body; Roslyn Jolly, Robert Louis Stevenson in the Pacific: Travel, Empire, and the Author’s Profession. International Journal of Scottish Literature 5
Review: Largeaud-Ortega, Sylvie (2010). Cahiers Victoriens et Édouardiens 72 (Oct 2010): 226-229. Jolly brilliantly illustrates Stevensonʼs fresh imprint on three different disciplines and discourses (anthropology, history and law) and on the authorʼs profession. The work is sustained, thoroughly-documented and in many respects groundbreaking.]
Jolly, Roslyn. ‘Stevenson and the European South’. In Ambrosini and Dury (eds.) (2009): 19-36. [The European South as imaginative space in Stevenson – cultural stereotypes of the South - associated with both health and disease, joyfulness and savagery – awareness of the body – studies of ‘Ordered South’, Travels with a Donkey and ‘Olalla’.]
Kaiser, Matthew. ‘Mapping Stevenson’s rhetorics of play’ . Journal of Stevenson Studies 6 (2009): 5-22.
[S wrote about play and cultivates a playful style – S’s play is also unsettling and captures ‘the bewildering experience of modernity’: phenomena in flux and play occupying all existence – an analysis of play in Stevenson using Sutton-Smith’s seven categories (play as competition, self-creation, subversion, paideia, imaginary, identity and fate).]
Largeaud-Ortega, Sylvie. ‘Stevenson’s “little tale” is “a library”: an anthropological approach to “The Beach of Falesá”’. Journal of Stevenson Studies 6 (2009): 117-34.
[‘Falesá’ as ‘an anthropological novella’ to teach his readers more about the South Seas – Polynesian names in the story are significant – fale sā ‘sacred home’ can represent the whole of Polynesia – the house of Wiltshire and Uma is ‘the last house to the east’, where East is the place of divine origins – the wedding scene is accompanied by appropriate rites that Wiltshire and the Western reader need to learn to understand – Wiltshire starts to learn at that point and the novella can be seen as aiming also to instruct the Western reader.]
Largeaud-Ortega, Sylvie (2009). ‘Contes des Mers du Sud de Robert Louis Stevenson : une approche littéraire et anthropologique’. Loxias 25 (June 2009) (‘Littératures du Pacifique’)
[Robert Louis Stevenson’s South Sea tales are a varied collection of stories written and set in Polynesia at the end of the 19th century. Deeply versed in anthropology, the author asks fundamental questions about the region. As a mythologist, he travels back both to the origins of Western myths of idyllic South Seas, and to the core of Polynesian myths, interweaving the founding tales of both Western and Polynesian civilisations into a pioneering palimpsest. Stevenson also faces the present: he fiercely denounces the fight for Western hegemony over the islands, and depicts the islanders’ acculturation. The natives prove to be neither noble nor ignoble savages, but hybrids who have lost touch with their indigenous identities. As a postcolonial writer avant la lettre, Stevenson proclaims the fall of imperialism and stands up against any kind of ostracising. He endeavours to present things from the viewpoint of native islanders. The future of the South Seas is another centre of interest. Although he predicts Polynesian women will play a leading role, he provides no clear-cut foresight: typically, he steps back to let the Other have the last word. Instead of prophesising, he questions everything, including the boundaries between reality and fiction, the narrator’s status and the author’s authority. Stevenson’s South Sea tales are a daring opening up onto Otherness in people and in literature.]
Lezard, Nicholas (2009). ‘An Apology for Idlers by Robert Louis Stevenson’. The Guardian 29 Aug. 2009,
Review section: 13. online.
[review of An Apology for Idlers in the Penguin ‘Great Ideas’ series]
MacLachlan, Chistopher (2009/2010). ‘Further Thoughts on
Robert Louis Stevenson’s Kidnapped’. Scotlit. Newsletter of the Association for Scottish Literary Studies 38/39, 2009/2010: 1-4.]
[Like many nineteenth-century novels, Kidnapped uses fairy-tale structures: it is about ‘the young hero, helped by a faithful friend, triumphing over his wicked uncle to achieve wealth and success at the end’. The story of the two brothers that we learn at the end of the novel recalls myths and folk-tales. Kidnapped is involved many crossing of watery boundaries and thresholds: ‘emblems of the moments of transition or progress in the life of a youth heading towards manhood. The repetition and accumulation of these emblematic movements bind the novel together’. A chapter of central significance is that set on Earraid. David learns that first assumptions can prevent one from seeing the truth and that ‘what we think is the case from our point of view may not be true at all’; the episode stands in contrast to Robinson Crusoe; and David learns ‘that for the most part the world around him is indifferent and rather inhospitable to him and he must work to improve his lot’. Many Scottish readers see Kidnapped as principally ‘about Scotland’, which impedes them from seeing its ‘emblematic narrative elements’. ‘Calvino and Borges are both writers who moved beyond the realism of nineteenth-century fiction and yet they were willing to see in Stevenson’s fiction things consistent with their own, modernistic writing, implying that he is not a conventional nineteenth-century realistic novelist after all.’]
Mallardi, Rosella. ‘Stevenson and Conrad: colonial imagination and photography’. Journal of Stevenson Studies 6 (2009): 97-115.
[Confrontation with the Other in ‘Falesá’ and Heart of Darkness involve moments of direct perception that stir disturbing responses – the fallacy of subjective judgment breaks with Victorian objectivism and realism – both S and Conrad express this world-view with reference to photography and magic-lanterns – photographs preserve reality with a reminder of death – magic-lantern phantasmagoria as models of reality, the presence of phantoms – Wiltshire explores ‘eye’ the top of the forest, a journey that also reveals his own latent dimensions in the killing of Case – Conrads HoD is also structured around varied perspective and the control of distance in which photographic and proto-cinematographic metaphors emphasize the multiple dimensions of consciousness.]
Martin, Maureen M. (2009). The Mighty Scot: Nation, Gender, and the Nineteenth-Century Mystique of Scottish Masculinity. Buffalo: SUNY Press.
[The Mighty Scot explores the nineteenth-century association of Scotland with a romantic Highland, the heartland of primal masculinity. Chapter III, ‘The Lad With the Silver Button: Kidnapped and the Dilemma of Lowland Manhood’ looks at the dilemma of a Lowland masculinity stalled in a state of boyhood. Re-writing Scott’s formula of English virilization through incorporation of Scotland, Stevenson experiments in Kidnapped with a potential, but ultimately unsuccessful, Lowland appropriation of rugged Highland masculinity. The novel’s hero—and Lowland masculinity—remain trapped in a permanent state of boyhood. Chapter IV, ‘Crimes of Authorship: The Master of Ballantrae and the Telling of the National Tale’, examines how in this national tale that itself comments on the national tale, Stevenson puts the Scottish author at the center of Scotland’s interwoven dilemmas of national identity and troubled Lowland masculinity]
Massie, Eric (2009). 'Stevenson and Conrad: The Ebb Tide and Victory Re-Visited'. In Dryden et al. 2009: ***-***.
Miller, Gavin (2009). 'Scottish science fiction: writing Scottish literature back into history'.
Etudes écossaises 12 ('La science').
[Suvin has argued that JH is not strictly a science fiction text but Miller disagrees: JH is 'open to interpretation as a science-fiction story about a hypocrite who invents a technology of perfect disguise' (p. 5).]
Mullan, Don (ed.), F.E. Burns (Introduction), Keith Drury (Afterword) (2009). The Prophesy
of Robert Louis Stevenson. Damien of Molokai The Leper Saint. Dublin: a little book
[Contains photos and illustrations. Deals with the Stevenson/Hyde controversy in a comprehensive manner.]
Naugrette, Jean-Pierre. ‘The Strange Cases of Doctors Haeckel and Jekels: Fake Onomastic European Associations as Interpretation’ . In Ambrosini and Dury (eds.) (2009): 171-83.
[Playfully fanciful interpretations of names can be thought-provoking – Bentzon’s 1888 analysis of Dr Jekyll sees an affinity between the novella and the (partly forged) evolutionarist studies of Haeckel – this sounds like ‘Jekyll’ and S, interested in Darwinism, had read Haeckel before writing JH – In a 1916 study, Freud refers to a study by Ludwig Jekels on Macbeth and Lady Macbeth as two aspects of the same personality – helps us see the pre-Freudian aspects of JH – the two associations bring out the ambiguous post-Darwinian, pre-Freudian status of the text.]
Niederhoff, Burkhard. ‘Unreliable narration in The Master of Ballantrae: an external approach’. Journal of Stevenson Studies 6 (2009): 43-62.
[The unreliability of the narrative of MoB indicated by internal features (inconsistencies between narrators etc) – confirmed by external reference to author’s opinions at variance with those of the narrator: McKellar justifies and condemns – for S we know too much to justify ourselves and too little to condemn others – again, contrary to McKellar, S argues elsewhere that virtue must be an end in itself – S’s well-known opposition to Puritanism – the reader cannot see Henry as innocent victim, yet the text does not vindicate James either – as in JH no clear opposition and final judgment provided.]
O’Donghaile, Deaglan (2009). ‘Conrad, the Stevensons and the Imagination of Urban Chaos.'. In Dryden et al. 2009: ***-***.
Rago, Jane (2009). “Affairs in Different Places”: Symbolic Geography in Stevenson and Conrad'. In Dryden et al. 2009: ***-***.
Ratnapalan, Laavanyan. ‘Stevenson’s anthropology of the Pacific Islands’ . Journal of Stevenson Studies 6 (2009): 135-50.
[S’s anthropological approach emphasized ‘the aesthetics of being in the world’ – life seen in terms of contradictions, hybridity, uncertainty, provisionality – a Hegelian view of accommodating new information to an existing world-view connected to ‘philosophical anthropology’ (Scheler) – S’s Pacific descriptions focus on changing pattern, oppositions, irregularity, contrariness – Another difference with scientific anthropology: questioning of the idea of cultural phenomena as ‘survivals’ in specific instances – S’s anthropology also based on human encounter, meeting and dialogue not detached objective observation: S is always an implicated participant]
Rizzo, Sara. ‘Twopence Coloured: The Translation of Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde into Comic-book Text'. In Ambrosini and Dury (eds.) (2009): 253-72.
[Early US comic-book adaptations of JH: influence of film versions, anticipation and focus on the transformation scene; Jekyll as good young man and inclusion of domestic scenes – Italy played an important part in establishing the artistic status of comic-book art from 1960s – examples are three innovative adaptations of JH: Battaglia (1974), Sclavi (1989) and Mattotti (2002), which get away from the sensational and simplifying Hollywood/Classics Illustrated traditions, to explore the novella’s ambiguity and silences.]
Rizzo, Sara. ‘Graphic visions of Dr Jekyll’. Journal of Stevenson Studies 6 (2009): 215-24.
[A review essay of two recent graphic-novel adapatations of JH: Grant and Kennedy 2008, and Klimowski and Schejbal 2009 – the first full-colour in action-comic style with a great deal of S’s text – the other black and white with naïf-Expressionist images, often more effective and close to the original in their silence – G&K have interesting doubled images and semanticized colour, but K&S seems the more interesting interpretation in their foregrounding of enigmatic elements and emphasis on the indeterminate nature of S’s text. ]
Sandison, Alan. ‘Proust and Stevenson: Natives of an Unknown Country’ . In Ambrosini and Dury (eds.) (2009): 147-70.
[Proust admired S – their affinities of mind-style and belief in style as an essence of thought – both explore the relation of perception and memory in their writings – both focus on exploration of the unique self through art – S’s essays have examples of a slow analysis of experience not dissimilar to Proust – S’s recorded memories are mainly of a Wordsworthian kind, though he does record involuntary memories in letters – for both writers, self-consciousness and its exploration through art is central to their world view.]
Waldroup, Heather (2009). ‘Picturing Pleasure: Fanny Stevenson and Beatrice Grimshaw in the Pacific Island’. Women’s History Review 18.1: 1-22.
White, Andrea (2009). ‘Allegories of the Self and of Empire: A Study of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and “A Smile of 'Fortune”.'. In Dryden et al. 2009: ***-***.
Zulli, Tania. ‘”A phrase of Virgil speaks of English places”: Classical and European literature in R. L. Stevenson’s South Sea Tales’. Journal of Stevenson Studies 6 (2009): 151-65.
[S’s Pacific-period narratives (e.g. ‘The Bottle Imp’) bring together exotic elements and European elements, in part to please his Anglo-American readers, in part from his interest in relations between past and present, savagery and civilization – The Ebb Tide has white protagonists and also expresses Western fin de siècle distress through its picture of the white colonial world – the literary memories of the three protagonists at the beginning are an attempt to create a consoling identity-affirming bridge to the past – like S (in Weir, for example) they try to use literature to explore present disorientation.]
Campbell, James (2008). ‘Travels with R.L.S.’. In
Syncopations. Beats, New Yorkers, and Writers in the Dark. San Francisco: University of California Press.
[An essay on his childhood in Scotland, which reflects on R.L.S. and ‘his rejection of the routinized life of haute-bourgeois prosperity that his father’s and grandfather’s successes (as engineers, a profession that caused considerable pain to the antimodernizer Stevenson) permitted him — and on Stevenson’s affection for the vestiges of pre-technological society.’ online]
Campbell, James (2008). ‘The Beast Within’. The Guardian 13 December 2008. online
[A long, serious article which surveys and appraises of the range of most frequent interpretations of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.]
Dirda, Michael (2008). ‘Michael Dirda on Robert Louis Stevenson: Robert Louis Stevenson’s eternally fresh comic adventures’. Washington Post 14 December 2008 (p. BW11).
[A Long, Serious Article by the Washington Post book critic. RLS and Poe ‘originated several of the major subgenres of popular fiction’ including ‘one subgenre without a clearly established name. Building on Gothic romance, the more melodramatic city novels of Balzac and Victor Hugo and such sensationalist serials as Eugène Sue’s The Mysteries of Paris, Stevenson imagined a romantic underworld hiding in the shadows of the modern urban metropolis. If you were lucky or persistent enough, you might pass into that nether-kingdom, where you would discover a realm of wonder and excitement, Baghdad on the Thames’. There follows an appreciation of The New Arabian Nights and The Wrong Box.]
Farr, Liz (2008). ‘Paper Dreams and Romantic Projections: The Nineteenth-Century Toy Theater, Boyhood and Aesthetic Play.’ Dennis Denisoff (ed.). The Nineteenth-Century Child and Consumer Culture. London: Ashgate. 43-61.
[Mainly about Stevenson primarily, as well as Dickens and others.]
Gray, William (2008). ‘On the Road: Robert Louis Stevenson’s Views of Nature’. new formations 64 (Spring 2008: ‘Earthographies: Ecocriticism and Culture’, Wendy Wheeler and Hugh Dunkerley, guest editors).
[‘Stevenson is interestingly positioned among a range of historical attitudes to science and the natural world. Heir to the achievements of the eighteenth-century Scottish Enlightenment and of nineteenth-century Scottish engineers, as well as to a strain of Calvinistic pessimism, he was also a kind of neo-Romantic who anticipated, and indeed helped to create, the neo-paganism and ruralism of the aesthetic 1890s. In addition, in the latter part of his short life, he extensively studied and wrote about the South Sea islands, where he settled at the height of the colonial period.’ (William Gray)]
Gray, William (2008). Death and Fantasy: Essays on Philip Pullman, C.S. Lewis, George MacDonald and R.L. Stevenson. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
[Contains two chapters on Stevenson: ‘Strange Case of Dr MacDonald and Mr Hyde: Robert Louis Stevenson and George MacDonald’ (pp. 35-42) and ‘The Incomplete Fairy Tales of Robert Louis Stevenson’ (pp. 43-52).]
Harris, Jason Marc (2008). Folklore and the Fantastic in
Nineteenth-Century British Fiction. Aldershot: Ashgate. 248 pp.
[‘Introduction: Victorian literary fairy tales: their folklore and function’. Ch. 5: ‘Robert Louis Stevenson: folklore and imperialism’ (pp 149-162). References in the index are to 'Falesa' (149-155), 'Isle of Voices' (155-8), Ballantrae (158-162, 193), 'manipulation of folk beliefs along metaphysical contact zone (151-2), psychology (154), 'subversion of English rational prentensions' (153-5), This chapter seems similar to the article with the same title published in English Literature in Transition 46 (2003), for which I have the following notes: ‘“The Beach of Falesá” and “The Isle of Voices,” underscore the unstable power dynamics of British imperialism operating between the “natives” and the Europeans. Further undercutting assumptions of British authority, The Master of Ballantrae displays the conflictual cultural core of the British Empire--divided between the familiar rationalism of England and the exotic supernaturalism of not only India, but Scotland as well. These texts disclose cross-cultural tendencies toward so-called superstition and thereby erode the orderly pretensions of British rule by denying its supposed civilized solidarity’. ]
Jolly, Roslyn (2008). ‘ “You want some action for this dollar?”: Gambling for the Plot in “Pursued” and “The Master of Ballantrae” ‘. Sydney Studies in English 34 (2008): 1-18.
[Raoul Walsh’s noir-Western Pursued (1947) and Robert Louis Stevenson’s historical novel The Master of Ballantrae (1889) share many elements of plot and characterisation, including a crucial scene in which two brothers toss a coin to decide which will go to war and which will stay at home. This essay uses a comparative study of the film and the novel to investigate the significance of the gambling motif as a plot device, and through this to explore theoretical questions about the role of chance in determining narrative form and meaning. The study makes use of two narrative models: Henry James’s conception of the classically unified narrative, in which character determines and is illustrated by incident, and the ‘plural’ text posited by Roland Barthes, in which chance is the only principle of determination. As it gauges the differing degrees to which Pursued and The Master of Ballantrae conform to either of these models, the essay argues that narrative genre is crucial in enabling or disabling the role of chance within the plot.
SSE, an online publication since 2007, provides the above abstract and the full text of the article as pdf document on the journal’s site http://escholarship.usyd.edu.au/journals/index.php/SSE/issue/current.]
Mathison, Ymitri (2008). ‘Maps, Pirates and Treasure: The Commodification of Imperialism in Nineteenth-Century Boys’ Adventure Fiction.’ Dennis Denisoff (ed.). The Nineteenth-Century Child and Consumer Culture.
London: Ashgate. 173-85.
[Addresses Stevenson’s Treasure Island, Ballantyne’s Coral Island, and Haggard’s King Solomon’s Mines.]
Maurer, Sylvie (2008). ‘South Sea Tales de Robert Louis Stevenson: une approche littéraire et anhropologique’’, Thèse de doctorat,
Université de Paris III (Supervisor Jean-Pierre Naugrette), June 20 2008.
[Abstract: Robert Louis Stevenson’s South Sea tales form a motley collection of stories written and set in Polynesia at the end of the 19th century. Deeply versed in anthropology, the author asks fundamental questions about the region. He revisits the past, hacking away at traditional South Sea literature. As a mythologist, he travels back both to the origins of Western myths of idyllic South Seas, and to the core of Polynesian myths. He interweaves the founding tales of both Western and Polynesian civilisations into a pioneering palimpsest. Stevenson also faces the present: he fiercely denounces the fight for a Western hegemony over the islands, and depicts the islanders’ acculturation. The natives prove to be neither noble nor ignoble savages, but hybrids who have lost touch with their indigenous identities. As a postcolonial writer-to-be, Stevenson proclaims the fall of imperialism and stands up against any kind of ostracising. He hands over to Tournier’s Vendredi, endeavouring to present things from the viewpoint of native islanders at the fin de siècle. The author also wonders about the future of the South Seas. Although he stakes Polynesian women will play a leading role, he provides no clear-cut foresight: typically, he steps back to let the Other have the last word. Instead of prophesising, as a forerunner of postmodernism he questions everything, including the boundaries between reality and fiction, the narrator’s status and the author’s authority. Stevenson’s South Sea tales are a daring opening up onto Otherness in people and in literature.]
McGrath, Patrick (2008). ‘The Brute That Slept Within Me’. Journal of Stevenson Studies 5: 53-62.
[Novelist McGrath writes a critical appreciation of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and its many possible interpretations, most interesting for the praise from a fellow-writer: for the exultation and fear following the Carew murder (‘wonderful strong, sick, gothic stuff’), the picture of Jekyll as addicted to Hyde and unable to resist the temptation (‘how clearly we can picture it... temptation spreading across his mind like a great rich carpet’), and the pity that Jekyll feels for Hyde in the last pages, revealing ‘one being, facing death in a state of the most wrenching, pathetic self-pity’.]
Menikoff, Barry (2008). ‘From the Baroque to the Plain Style. Henry James and Robert Louis Stevenson and a person of the Tale’. Journal of Stevenson Studies 5: 108-123.
[In fine raconteur style, confidential and colloquial (‘So much did I know. Turns out, I was riveted by the story’), Barry takes us on a balloon ride over decades of his career to show how it and the careers of others are blown off course by academic ‘rages’ and pure chance (including the attractiveness of a teacher). After zigs and zags he lands in Hawaii as a Jamesian only to find top-James scholar Leon Edel parachuted to the chair of English shortly afterwards. Looking for a new subject, he chances on Stevenson and starts reading: ‘I vividly remember reading the first one, Catriona, and thinking with some surprise that this was very good writing, possibly exceptional writing, and wondering why this person was considered a children’s writer’. The final three pages brings together his two model writers, James and Stevenson, explaining their affinities as ‘among the most deliberate portraitists in their time – with themselves as their primary models’, both interested the interaction of art and life.]
Meyer, Michael (2008). ‘Robert Louis Stevenson: “The Bottle Imp,” “The Beach of Falesá,” and “Markheim” ‘. David Malcolm & Cheryl
Malcolm (eds.). A Companion to the British and Irish Short Story. Oxford: Blackwell (Blackwell Companions to Literature and Culture). 29781405145374.
[The essay analyzes three types of Stevenson’s short fiction, the tale, the novella, and pre-modernist short fiction. In ‘The Bottle Imp’, the acquisition of the bottle is an ordeal. Poetic justice seems to rule in the end, but the lovers’ wealth and happiness are based on the deaths of Keawe’s relatives and on saving themselves by passing the buck on to someone else who yields to temptation. ‘The Beach of Falesá’ is neither escapist nor particularly optimistic but profoundly ironic and ambiguous. The fusion of faith and superstition and the escalation of ruthless violence among the traders erase the difference between civilization and barbarism. The conclusion suggests that there is no end to discrimination and exploitation, which, however, do not necessarily lead to social and economic gain in an unqualified sense. The dark and symbolic atmosphere, the moral ambivalence and the ideological contradictions anticipate Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. The murderer Markheim is an alienated and miserable creature who takes revenge on a capitalist society that disregards humane values. However, the victim represents both a distorted image of Victorian values and the mirror of the perpetrator’s alter ego.]
Naugrette, Jean-Pierre (2008). ‘ “and was even this the end of so many adventures?... or was there more behind?”
From The Ebb-Tide (R.L. Stevenson, 1893) to The Riddle of the Sands (Erskine Childers, 1903), and back’.
Hervé Fourtina, Nathalie Jaëck & Joël Richard (eds.) (2008). Aventure(s). Bordeaux: Presses Universitaires de Bordeaux, 119-130.
[Naugrette proposes the idea of ‘literary creative metaphors’, images in one text that disseminate in others, and argues that Stevenson’s narratives provide many such patterns to be found in the novel of adventure at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century. Conrad, for example, while never fully acknowledging his debt to Stevenson, apparently responds to the following patterns: (i) ‘For me, at least, there was no secret about the matter; for I was a sharer in his alarms’ (Tr Is, ch 1), which seems be related to Conrad’s ‘The Secret Sharer’, in which we find (ii) ‘Maroon you! We are not living in a boys’ adventure tale’; and (iii) ‘had I been the least king of naked negroes in the African desert, my people would have adored me. A bad man, am I? Ah! but I was born for a good tyrant!’ (Ballantrae ch 9), which seems a prefigurement of Kurtz in Heart of Darkness.
Naugrette’s main study is of Stevenson’s ‘literary creative metaphors’ in Childers’ The Riddle of the Sands: (i) An Inland Voyage possibly supplies the motif of ‘cruising’; (ii) the suppression of real names and the maps and charts reminds us of Treasure Island; (iii) the same work seems to be echoed in ‘that dream island – nightmare island’, ‘the wreck of a treasure-ship’, marked by a cross on one of the maps, and Davies’s enigmatic message to Caruthers (reminiscent of Flint’s cryptic message in the sea-chest); (iv) The Ebb-Tide seems to be echoed in ‘the ebb’, ‘strong tideway’ and ‘the set of the ebb-tide’ (in ET we find ‘the set of the current’), while ‘ebb-tide’ and strong currents also recur in TrIs, and Jim’s exploitation of the ebb-tide (to reach and then set adrift the Hispaniola) is echoed in that way Davies and Caruthers, too, trust in the ebb-tide to help them; (v) Caruthers dismisses the explanation of mysterious events as connected with the digging up of treasure with ‘We were not in the South Sea Islands; nor were we the puppets of a romance’ (a similar strategy to that used, see above, by Conrad in ‘The Secret Sharer’); (vi) Childers’ novel is a formative influence for a new kind of adventure, the spy story, which too is foreshadowed in Stevenson’s adventure stories: in ET the existential opportunist, Herrick, is close to the figure of the spy, and in TrIs Jim acts as a spy for Billy Bones, overhears events from under the arch of a bridge (a situation borrowed in The Thirty-Nine Steps), and overhears vital information while hidden in the apple-barrel; in addition, he slips away from his own side, an agent on a secret mission (‘In The Enemy’s Camp’), improvising a course of action as spies will do.]
Robertson, James (2008). ‘Fragments of Stevenson’. Journal of Stevenson Studies 5: 6-13
[Robertson, founder of Itchy Coo (publishing children’s books in Scots), poet and fiction writer (e.g. the modern gothic The Testament of Gideon Mack, 2006), retcalls the deep first impression made on him by ‘The Bottle Imp’. He appreciates the way S ‘manages to build a bridge between a folklorish, mythic from of narration and a modern ironic voice’ and confesses he has tried recreate the mixture in three unpublished stories without success. He sees it, like the other South Seas fiction, as about ‘a loss of innocence through bitter experience’. Robertson admires Stevenson, apart from style and narrative ability, for his depth and the way he ‘seems, even as you read him, to be torn between life lived imaginatively and life lived for real’.]
Sampietro, Luigi (2008). ‘Quell’asino di Stevenson’ [Stevenson’s donkey]. Il Sole 24 Ore: Domenica 1 giugno 2008: 54.
[A long Sunday-supplement appreciation of Travels with a Donkey by a Professor of American Literature at Milan University. For Sampietro, TWAD ‘is pure style: an amazing writing exercise in search of a plot’. With Inland Voyage it marks the start of a new sub-genre: travel writing, or travelling with the aim of writing rather than writing about what one has already seen when travelling. And for this, Stevenson invents the persona of the special correspondent.]
Strong, Michele (2008). ‘Alison Cunningham: Victorian Leisure Travel, Religious Identity, and the Grand Tour: Journal of a Domestic Servant.’ Cora Granata and Cheryl A. Koos (eds.). The Human Tradition in Modern Europe: 1750 to the Present. Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield.
[‘Robert Louis Stevenson credited his imaginative boyhood nurse, Alison Cunningham, with inspiring his love of language. And yet, Stevenson scholars routinely dismiss Cunningham’s one literary effort, her travel diary of the Stevenson’s 1864 Grand Tour, as “homely” or “boring,” a fate it shares with many working-class writings for their supposed lack of “complexity.” A close textual analysis of Cunningham’s journal, however, can offer students and scholars a rare glimpse into how a domestic servant creatively responded to “leisure” travel. As this article demonstrates, Cunningham experimented with a number of literary conventions to tell her tale of European travel, but it was the genre of “spiritual autobiography” that lent thematic coherence to her narrative and established the ultimate meaning of her tour abroad. Like a spiritual Israelite, Cunningham struggled in the “wilderness” of the continent, turning her Grand Tour into a bumpy road towards spiritual salvation.’ (Michele Strong)]
Welsh, Louise (2008). ‘Robert Louis Stevenson and the Theatre of the Brain’. Journal of Stevenson Studies 5: 63-77.
[Welsh talks about ‘A Chapter on Dreams’ and its ‘glimpse into the dreaming depths into which artists, mathematicians, designers, anyone who wishes to create must delve’. She ends with a personal ‘Post Script’ in which she talks of the childhood experience of Treasure Island and of how Stevenson ‘helped to introduce me to the power literature can have on the senses. He’s part of what made me want to become a writer.’]
Abrahamson, R.L. (2007). ‘ “I never read such an
impious book”: re-examining Stevenson’s Fables.’ Journal of Stevenson Studies 4: 209-26.
[In his 1874 review of ‘Lord Lytton’s Fables in Song’ Stevenson provides a programme for his own Fables in the definition of a ‘new form’, the modern fable, indeterminate and with no simple meaning. Like traditional fables, S’s pieces are brief, with vague settings, and undescribed and generally unnamed characters. More unusual is the lack of a clear final meaning, the occasional intervention of the first-person narrator and the choice of words and phrases ‘just unusual enough to disconcert us’. There follows an interpretation of ‘The Man and His Friend’ (‘an early example of theatre of the absurd’, ‘Kafka-esque? Or proto-existentialist?’) to show how these texts elude final explanation. The Fables are united by theme: an examination of how ‘intellectual constructs’ (philosophies, moral codes, social conventions) are ultimately useless or collapse in absurdity. The only certainty is remaining faithful to one’s engagements with others (the missionary’s vow not to drink alcohol, the rover’s exit to die with Odin) or to accept the realities of life (the older son in ‘The Touchstone’). The final fable, ‘The Song of the Morrow’ is one of Stevenson’s masterpieces but offers no consolation: we cannot control our destiny, and life repeats itself with no clear meaning.]
Albano, Giuseppe (2007). ‘ “Stand sicker in oor ancient ways”: Stevenson’s Scots drinking verse
and the fulfilment of a pastoral fantasy’. Journal of Stevenson Studies 3:
[The immature rant of ‘Hail! Childish Slaves of Social Rules’ (spring 1873) contrasts with a more mature voice that Stevenson was soon to find thanks to the use of Scots, which enabled him to distance himself from the poem’s speaker and also (in an interesting play of personae) to give a better idea of the moral complexity of human behaviour.
The Scots verses celebrating social drinking contain an interesting melting of singular and plural 1st and 2nd person pronouns, and contrast the relentless Edinburgh winter with friendship and comfort indoors (clothes are wet, but also throats). Scots was particularly associated with the ‘mental retreat’ of Swanston, evoked in the essay ‘Pastoral’ (1887) and in the poem ‘Ille terrarum’ (1875). In the Johnstone-Thomson Scots correspondence and poems (beginning with ‘The Scotsman’s Return from Abroad’, 1880) Stevenson plays with boundaries between the real and imaginary life of himself and his addressee (Charles Baxter), and also with the boundaries between nostalgia and satire. Whereas previously Edinburgh had been a place to escape from (‘I… Sigh for the South’, 1872), it later became a mental retreat evoked in letters, essays and poems [and also in the late fiction, as Linda Dryden pointed out at the Saranac conference]. Writing was a cathartic process for Stevenson and these Scots drinking poems enable him to work through and resolve his attitude to Edinburgh and to his own social condition.]
Ambrosini, Richard (2007). ‘R.L. Stevenson, the Pleasure of reading, and the Search for a
Modern Epic’. Hervé Fourtine, Nathalie Jaeëck, Joël Richard (eds.). Le plaisir. Presses universitaires
de Bordeaux. 47-55.
[Modern literary critics have been uninterested in the pleasure of the text, because (i) Freud associates the mature mind with the reality (not the pleasure) principle, (ii) serious literature had to be clearly distinguished (in a reaction to the threat of mass literacy) from pleasure-giving popular literature. Stevenson, however, saw popular fiction as one interesting form among others (essays, travel writing, short stories) for his own experiments in creating pleasure through narrative and in undermining genre expectations.
His exploration of pleasure and ‘the enjoyment of the world’ in his essays is carried over to his subsequent fiction writing. In ‘A Gossip on Romance’, undertaken at the same time as the rewriting of TrIs, S outlines his idea of a new kind of fiction, characterized by a sensuous reading experience and a pre-eminence of the visual [at a time when the new verbal focus of serious literature is signalled by the exclusion of accompanying illustrations], associated with the genres of romance and epic: the ‘kaleidoscopic dance of images’ and the creation of ‘epoch-making scenes’. In his literary essays he explores a poetics of fiction based on the pleasure of reading, but he downplays his critical contribution by unpretentious titles and an ironic tone, partly to pre-empt criticism of his choice of adventure romances, partly from his feeling of alienation from the literary debate.]
Richard (2007). ‘The Master of Ballantrae as Colonial Epic’. Rivista
di Studi Vittoriani 20 [special Stevenson number]: 81-98.
[Ballantrae is a pivotal work: written at a moment of crisis in S’s self-identity as a British upper-class writer, it uses the Double theme to explore the problem not only of evil but also of Scottish cultural oppositions. Although it is typically criticized as a ‘mixed’ historical/psychological/adventure narrative, Ambrosini sees this quality as part of S’s design. In particular the adventure-story ending can be seen as a way to transcend the nation-building myths of the historical novel and achieve the epic resonance that he had theoretically explored in his essays.
S’s experience of the South Seas in particular led him to see 18C Scotland in a new light. The Master links the defeat of the Jacobites in 1745 with the fall of Pondicherry in 1761 and so marks the progression from English internal to external colonization. James belongs to a past age so is continually on the wrong side. His demonization by Mackellar reflects the rise of mercantile values in Scotland: Henry and Mackellar replace former loose patriarchal rule of the estates with a new capitalistic management. The only conceptual space left for the Master is as hero of the adventure story—but S denies him this: rescuing him from the Scott tradition and condemning him to ‘the dustbin of history’.]
Ambrosini, Richard (2007). ‘Stevenson’s self-portrait as a popular author in the Scribner’s essays and The
Wrong Box.’ Journal of Stevenson Studies 4: 151-167.
[An explanation of why Stevenson decided to collaborate on TWB. Stevenson’s concern about having evolved from élite to popular author was rendered more acute by experience of American society where élite behaviour no longer applied. This unease was further complicated by resentment of critics and friends back home who accused him of betraying his artistic vocation by going to vulgar America. As a reaction, he wrote the self-parodying ‘Popular Authors’ and started on TWB. The latter answers anxieties about his identification with popular fiction by parodying it: the plot is held together by the absurd machinery of popular fiction; in addition, the amoral characters are all delineated by their reading of popular authors, and even the narrator refers to them. The suggestion is that the absurdity extends to the whole of human society. (The same defence mechanism can be seen in The Wrecker, where one story line is a parody of his own life: the failed artist’s descent from bohemianism to exploitation of himself a ‘gentleman artist’ in San Francisco before ending on an atoll lost in the Pacific.)
In the savage and a-moral world of WB the main characters are identified by their frivolous reading of popular authors. Where the preface to An Inland Voyage had ironically apologized for making no complaint about the meaningless universe, in WB this meaninglessness takes on sinister tones and marks the beginning of Stevenson’s darker view of human life as seen in ‘Pulvis et Umbra’, Ballantrae, The Wrecker and The Ebb-Tide.]
Arata, Stephen (2007). ‘Stevenson’s
Careful Observances’’. Romanticism and Victorianism on the Net 47 (August 2007) online1 online2.
[Abstract: ‘In his own time, Robert Louis Stevenson was admired as a careful technician of language, a stylist to be put in the company of de Quincey or Pater. In our time, he is known primarily as the author of potboiling plot-driven Gothic tales and adventure yarns. Stevenson himself saw no contradiction in pursuing what Lionel Johnson called his “stylistic nicety and exactitude” in fiction aimed at the mass market, but critics both then and now have largely sidestepped the question of how to reconcile these twin allegiances. In this essay I read The Wrecker (1892), arguably the most densely plotted of Stevenson’s novels, as an extended meditation on the historicity of words. The novel continually calls attention to the “refractive” quality of certain keywords around which the story is structured. At the same time, The Wrecker is concerned with the dynamics of narrativity. It is concerned not just with the procedures by which fictional events are translated into intelligible story, but also with the many ways in which narratives are generated through collaboration: between writers and the literary traditions they work in, between writers and words in their historicity, between writers and their readers—real, imagined, and unforeseen.’
A word of central importance in The Wrecker is observe, three meanings of which—’notice’, ‘comment’ and ‘follow a rule’—correspond to three approaches of Stevenson to writing: (i) as word-painting, (ii) as conversation, and (iii) as play of generic manipulation.
(i) Scenes are explicitly called ‘pictures’, stored in a ‘mental gallery’, searching for a solution is ‘ciphering with pictures’ and trying to make a narrative is searching for a ‘creditable arrangement’ of them. Yet narrative remains elusive and much is inexplicable. ‘Tableaux’ are often used (as elsewhere in Stevenson) to sum up the essence of a situation (stabbing at seagulls) or encourage narrative speculation (the telephone falling from the shocked ear). (ii) For Stevenson, literary texts, like conversation, require collaboration and like conversation the narrative line is full of breaks, departures on a tangent and lost lines, allowing the reader to assemble and reassemble The Wrecker into different configurations. (iii) Genre is also foregrounded, explicitly referred to, shifted in order to shape experience, encouraging us to see how we interpret events through generic filters and expectations. Stevenson creates texts open to many readings; he is interested in pattern, not finish, in narrating, not closure.]
Axford, Martin (2007). ‘Robert Louis Stevenson’s Kidnapped: Teaching Notes for Higher and Advanced Higher’. Glasgow: Association for Scottish Literary Studies
Baker, William. ‘The Nineteenth century: The Victorian Period. 2. The Novel’. Year’s
Work in English Studies 86.i (2007): 723-4.
[The survey for 2005 (published 2007) includes (i) Claire Harman’s ‘fine biography’ (‘Stevenson’s interests in psychology, genetics, feminism and technology are explored’) ; (ii) Barry Menikoff’s Narrating Scotland (the Scottish novels ‘are analysed as political allegories hidden behind narratives—actually criticism of the very British colonizers who read the novels’); (iii) Martin Danahay’s edition of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (‘offers a compelling wealth of biographical, historical and cultural background, especially in its ancillary documents and articles on nineteenth-century psychology – see below in the ‘Recent editions’ section) ; (iv) Ralph Parfect’s ‘Robert Louis Stevenson’s ‘‘The Clockmaker’’ and ‘‘The Scientific Ape’’: Two Unpublished Fables’ (ELT 48:iv) ; (v) William Gray’s ‘A Source for the Trampling Scene in Jekyll and Hyde’ (N&Q 52:iv); (vi) Andrew Nash’s ‘Walter Besant’s ‘‘All sorts and conditions of men’’ and Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’ (N&Q 52:iv).]
Balderston, Daniel (2007).A Projected Stevenson Anthology (Buenos Aires, 1968-70). In
Variaciones Borges 23.
[Borges and Adolfo Bioy Casares planned a translated anthology of RLS 1968-70; the draft table of contents is divided between 12 essays and 12 fictional narratives (7 fables, plus 'The Suicide Club', 'The Bottle Imp' and extracts from Ballantrae, The Ebb-Tide and Weir). The essays are almost all referred to elsewhere by Borges (esp. 'Lay Morals', 'Some Gentlemen in Fiction', 'A Gossip on Romance', 'A Humble Remonstrance', and 'A Chapter on Dreams'); the same is true of narratives like the Fables and 'The Suicide Club'. Both genres of S's work 'were essential to the radical turn in Borges's work' in the 1930s.]
Beattie, Hilary J. (2007). ‘ “The interest of the
attraction exercised by the great RLS of those days”: Robert Louis Stevenson,
Henry James and the influence of friendship’.
Journal of Stevenson Studies 4: 91-113.
[From 1885, both writers influenced each other in stories about the psychology of evil and male friendship and rivalry. The Master of Ballantrae seems to be Stevenson’s attempt to write an adventure novel with the ‘exquisite precision’ he admired in James. The novel contains winking allusions (the names of the two brothers, and the meeting with ‘a merchant of Albany’, who could be James’s grandfather), and the story of fraternal rivalry reminds one of James’s difficult relationship with his brother William and has affinities with the domestic rivalry in James’s ‘The Light Man’ (1869) and the moral ambiguities of Portrait of a Lady. In James’s The Princess Casamassima (1886) Hyacinth Robinson shares many traits with Francis Scrimgeour (New Arabian Nights, 1882), and his Christina Light has affinities with Stevenson’s similarly-named Clara Luxmore (Dynamiter, 1885). Some short stories by James also betray his interest in Stevenson and his works: ambivalent feelings towards Fanny Stevenson together with explorations of the two writers’ combined thoughts about literature seem to be contained in ‘The Lesson of the Master’, ‘The Next Time’ and ‘The Real Right Thing’, while ‘The Jolly Corner’ (1908) contains many themes from James’s relationship with Stevenson and some narrative similarities with Stevenson’s ‘Markheim’.]
Kucała, Bozena (2007).
‘The Strange Case of the Double Woman: Rewriting the Victorian Classic’. Gender
Studies [Universitatea de Vest din Timisoara, Romania] 6: 49-58..
[Nabokov urged his student audience: ‘Please completely forget, disremember, obliterate, unlearn, consign to oblivion any notion you may have had that Jekyll and Hyde is some kind of mystery story, a detective story, or a movie’. The two contemporary novels inspired by Stevenson’s book, Valerie Martin’s Mary Reilly (1990) and Emma Tennant’s Two Women of London (1989), require the reader to do the exact opposite: bear the original in mind and relate the modern versions to it. Although they rewrite Stevenson’s novella quite differently, they both rely on the reader’s knowledge of the hypotext. Any rewritten canonical text demands double reading, which results ‘in the satisfactions of recognition and a sense of special, even privileged knowledge’.]
Buckton, Oliver (2007). Cruising with Robert Louis Stevenson: Travel, Narrative, and
the Colonial Body. Ohio University Press.
[Cruising with Robert Louis Stevenson: Travel, Narrative, and the Colonial Body is the first book-length study about the influence of travel on Robert Louis Stevenson’s writings, both fiction and nonfiction. Within the contexts of late-Victorian imperialism and ethnographic discourse, the book offers original close readings of individual works by Stevenson while bringing new theoretical insights to bear on the relationship between travel, authorship, and gender identity.
Oliver S. Buckton develops “cruising” as a critical term, linking Stevenson’s leisurely mode of travel with the striking narrative motifs of disruption and fragmentation that characterize his writings. Buckton follows Stevenson’s career from his early travel books to show how Stevenson’s major works of fiction, such as Treasure Island, Kidnapped, and The Ebb-Tide derive from the innovative techniques and materials Stevenson acquired on his global travels.
Exploring Stevenson’s pivotal role in the revival of “romance” in the late nineteenth century, Cruising with Robert Louis Stevenson highlights Stevenson’s treatment of the human body as part of his resistance to realism, arguing that the energies and desires released by travel are often routed through resistant or comic corporeal figures. Buckton also focuses on Stevenson’s writing about the South Seas, arguing that his groundbreaking critiques of European colonialism are formed in awareness of the fragility and desirability of Polynesian bodies and landscapes.]
Review: Weltman, Sharon Aronofsky (2008). The Victorian Web: ‘[A] vital contribution to research on Stevenson, now experiencing a resurgence of critical attention…. Buckton… responds to virtually everyone who has written on any of these Stevenson texts in a nearly continuously polyphonic synthesis of other critics’ observations; he builds impressively on them. Thoroughly researched both historically and critically…, this is a book to consult not only for those primarily interested in Robert Louis Stevenson, but also for those looking into Victorian responses to empire, travel, ethnography, and homosociality…. [A] comprehensive and important intervention in Stevenson studies.’ Review Laurence Davies, Journal of Stevenson Studies 5: 124-9: 'dense, sometimes frustrating, but always challenging study... flawed but memorable contribution to Stevenson studies'. Review: Norquay, Glenda (2009). Review: Oliver S. Buckton, Cruising with Robert Louis Stevenson: Travel, Narrative and the Colonial Body; Roslyn Jolly, Robert Louis Stevenson in the Pacific: Travel, Empire, and the Author’s Profession. International Journal of Scottish Literature 5.]
Calder, Jenni (2007). ‘Secrets and Lies: Stevenson’s Telling of the Past’. Rivista
di Studi Vittoriani 20 [special Stevenson number]: 11-30.
[Oral narratives (in the Scottish tradition) based on fragmented and constantly retold and re-interpreted evidence are reflected in the narration of Weir and Ballantrae. The former contains many references to familiar stories and their retelling—mixtures of memory and fiction—and represents interpersonal relations as a ‘tapestry of secrets and deceptions’. The result is a narrative of layered interpretations in which narratives are mutable and ambiguous.
Ballantrae, too, is a narrative of many voices. Mackellar believes he is presenting a single authoritative version, but evidence and testimony are unreliable, assessments of character and motive are ambiguous or clearly biased. Like JH it is not a story of simple duality but of multiple identity, indistinct morality and incomplete knowledge of events and motivations..]
Campbell, Ian (2007). Robert Louis Stevenson’s ‘Thrawn Janet’ and ‘Markheim’. A Commentary. Audio CD. Glasgow: Association for Scottish Literary Studies.
[‘Professor Ian Campbell, Professor of Scottish and Victorian Literature at the University of Edinburgh, here contrasts two of Stevenson’s short stories: ‘Thrawn Janet’, set in the Scottish Borders in the early eighteenth century; and ‘Markheim’, set in a pawnbroker’s shop in late nineteenth-century London. Accompanied by selected readings from the two stories, Professor Campbell examines Stevenson’s use of sinister settings and diabolic themes.’]
C. (2007). ‘Journeying out of the Comfort Zone: R. L. Stevenson and
Cannibalism’. Rivista di Studi Vittoriani 20 [special Stevenson number]:
[‘When R. L. Stevenson was travelling in the South Seas, he was fully cognizant of the equation between cannibalism and the people of the Pacific. While cruising among the islands he was continuously curious about a place’s ensanguined history. The lure of the act’s supposed violence fed his compulsion to inquire repeatedly about past practices. Sometimes Stevenson treated what he heard with caution, scepticism, and fairness, but just as frequently he gave in to the drama of tales depicting cannibalism and, subsequently, immersed his prose in the pleasures of the tabooed. Stevenson, though, was often uncomfortable with the phenomenon, especially when there was a disparity between an island’s past, its former practices, and the so-called civilized present in which a chief who formerly tasted flesh was now dressed and standing before him as a gentleman. These contrary states created an incongruity that was disorienting and non-negotiable – the kind of disparity that Stevenson had already explored in Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. The only way Stevenson was able to move in to a more comfortable zone was to place cannibalism in his fiction within the zone of metaphor, a zone that allows disparity and through its nature brings together the incongruous.’ (Ann Colley)]
Corbett, John (2007). ‘Press-ganging Scottish Literature? Kidnapped and the City Of Literature’s One Book, One Edinburgh project’. (International Journal of Scottish Literature 2.
Crawford, Robert (2007). Scotland’s Books. The Penguin History of Scottish Literature. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books.
[A one-volume history of Scottish literature. In the section on Stevenson (492-503), Crawford emphasizes the playfulness of his texts. The early essays are ‘slightly mannered’, yet ‘[t]he playfulness of Stevenson’s style often manifests itself in a mixture of sympathetic engagement and ironic humour – a simultaneous involvement and independence that retains a companionable warmth’ (494). Then – thanks to the new relationship with his stepson – a ‘stylistic maturing’ (498) takes place in Stevenson’s prose around 1880-81 ‘that rescues his writing from an excess of poise, and turns it towards purposeful play’ (496). Treasure Island was produced in a spirit of collaborative play and involves the reader in imaginative play. In Kidnapped David and Alan retain a childish playfulness. Here too we find S’s gift in combining ‘magic with mundanity’ (499), as well as ‘unobtrusive elegance and pacy excitement’ (500). ‘It is Stevenson’s sense of play, as well as the consciousness of psychological and even theological darkness in such tales as ‘Thrawn Janet’ and ‘Markheim’, that contributes to his stylish, mobile vitality’ (503).]
(2007). In Other Words, Collected essays and reviews, 1987 -
2004. Burton. MI:
[Includes: ‘Robert Louis Stevenson and the Dilemma of an Uncritical Readership’ (a paper presented at the Beinecke Stevenson Centenary conference, Yale, 1994), pp. 55-64; ‘Robert Louis Stevenson by Frank McLynn and The Letters of Robert Louis Stevenson, Volumes III and IV, edited by Ernest Mehew’ (orig. published in the Washington Post Book World, Jan 8 1995), pp. 65-69; ‘Mary Reilly by Valerie Martin’ (orig. published in the New York Times Book Review, February 4 1990), pp. 70-3. John Crowley is a much-praised writer of science-fiction (Harold Bloom places his Aegypt in his Western canon) and also teaches the art of writing at Yale. In the 1994 essay he says ‘I admired Stevenson; I did more than that. I did what we are not supposed to do with the characters we encounter in books -- I identified with him.’]
Denisoff, Dennis (2007). ‘Pleasurable subjectivities
and temporal conflation in Stevenson’s aesthetics’. Journal of Stevenson Studies 4: 227-46.
[The adult Victorian reader of ‘children’s literature’ could imagine re-awakened childlike belief (as a defence against challenges to traditional faith), while the imagined child reader, presumed to understand the message and endowed with the special gift of imagination, reinforces the idea of the ideal child who could redeem the adult. In A Child’s Garden, however, the child’s and adult’s point-of-view are not opposed in this way: indeed, they are often alternating or simultaneous. Imagination and play for S are both aesthetic phenomena that are, unusually, not associated exclusively with childhood, and this is because S sees the individual as simultaneously embodying various subjectivities. The valuable aimlessness of play and reverie is also seen in the Child’s Garden focus on travelling coupled with unfulfilled progress. Stevenson, like Pater before him, praises imagination in the adult while underlining its personal, subjective nature—yet for S the valuable exercise of imagination is not only for an élite: ‘The result is popular art that encourages each individual to embody a Babylon of the self… through eager, imaginative exploration’.]
Giglioni, Cinzia (2007). ‘Stevenson gets lost in the
South Seas’. Journal of Stevenson Studies
[Presentation of In the South Seas as a failure (compare this with Sborgi in the smae issue of the JSS). Stevenson was overwhelmed by his South Seas material, and lacking a clear generic model, he piles up information and produces a collage of fragments. His anthropological approach and repeated comparisons with Europe weaken the work. Here we do not find his elegant and fascinating prose and lightness of touch. The true value of the work is Stevenson’s excellent quality as a witness, his presentation of a less stereotyped image of the South Seas than those available at the time.]
Giglioni, Cinzia (2007). ‘Un racconto per conoscere meglio il
mondo, “A Lodging for the Night” di R.L. Stevenson’. In Marialuisa Bignami
(ed.). Le trame della conoscenza. Percorsi epistemologici nella prosa
inglese dalla prima modernità al postmoderno.. Milano: Unicopli. 79-87.
[Giglioni focuses on literature (and in particular the short story) as an instrument for understanding the world, and about the type of understanding that literature gives (plurality of point-of-view, empathy, critical distance, understanding that is singular and subjective yet also able to create shared knowledge). Stevenson’s essay on Villon (1877) shows unresolved conflict between artistic admiration and moral condemnation; but his short story ‘A Lodging for the Night’ (1878) accepts psychological complexity without any difficulty. Villon’s message (that morality is a product of circumstances) is accompanied by a plurality of points of view, typical of literary understanding.]
Gish, Nancy (2007). ‘Jekyll and Hyde: The Psychology of Dissociation’. International Journal of Scottish Literature 2.
Graham, Lesley (2007). ‘Cummy on the Continent: Alison Cunningham’s trip to
Europe with the Stevenson family in 1863’. Gilles Leydier (ed). Scotland and Europe, Scotland in Europe. Cambridge: Scholar Press.
[‘Most readers will recognise Cummy as the dedicatee of A Child’s Garden of Verses – Robert Louis Stevenson’s nanny: his second mother, his first wife. In 1863, Alison Cunningham accompanied the Stevenson family on an extended tour of the Continent. This was her first contact with life outside of Scotland and she was, for the most part, decidedly unimpressed. The diary she kept during this period was published in book form much later as Cummy’s Diary (1926). It has been described by some as ‘homely’ (Skinner) and dismissed as ‘extremely boring’ by others (Davies). This article aims to reappraise the diary in the light of more recent work on travel writing, highlighting its documentation of the everyday and examining Alison Cunningham’s marginal position as a foreigner in a strange land, an unmarried woman, a servant, a Scot and a healthy person surrounded by invalids.’]
Hasler, Antony (2007). ‘Frontier Creatures: The Imaginary Characters of Weir of Hermiston’. International Journal of Scottish Literature 2.
Hirsch, Gordon (2007). ‘The fiction of Lloyd Osbourne: was this “American
gentleman” Stevenson’s literary heir?’ Journal of Stevenson Studies 4:
[After Stevenson’s death, Osbourne published thirteen volumes of fiction, including four collections of short stories. Some of his work is embarrassing to read today, such as the numerous stories of a rich heiress pursued and won by a hardworking young American man, many of them unpleasantly snobbish and revealing traces of racism. The mystery/adventure novels with elements of comic absurdity (The Adventurer, 1907, and Peril, 1929) are more interesting, reminiscent in ways of The New Arabian Nights, The Wrong Box and The Wrecker.
It was, however, in the short fiction set in the South Seas (The Queen against Billy, 1900, and Wild Justice, 1906) that Osbourne has most affinities with Stevenson. The stories can be grouped in four categories: (i) those about relationships between Euro-American men and native women, (ii) those about exploitative and lawless non-native incomers, (iii) stories with native narrators and their reactions to imperialist intrusion, (iv) stories of moral complexity in situations of multicultural contact. The best of these reflect Stevenson’s influence and ‘represent an achievement comparable to the Stevenson-Osbourne collaborations’.]
Hotaling, Mary B. (2007). ‘Trudeau, tuberculosis and Saranac Lake’. Journal of Stevenson Studies 4: 4-19.
[Saranac Lake in 1887 and the life and works of Dr Trudeau, who founded the tuberculosis sanatorium around which the town of Saranac Lake developed. The work in his laboratory (which Stevenson visited) also contributed to the new approach to the disease, understood as caused by a bacillus and so perhaps potentially curable by direct medical intervention.]
Houppermans, Sjef (2007). Marcel Proust constructiviste. Amsterdam/New York: Rodopi (Faux Titre 300).
[Houppemans sees A la recherche as an unfixed construction characterized by metamorphosis, openness, polyphony, undecidibility and fragmentation. Ch. 8 ‘En passant – Intersections I’ has two pages on the influence of Stevenson on Proust (179-80).]
Hubbard, Tom (2007). ‘Dva Brata: Robert Louis Stevenson in Translation before 1900’. Scottish
Studies Review 8.1: 17-26.
[Notes on early translations and reception in Europe: the 1885 French translation of Treasure Island; Jules-Paul Tardivel first translator of JH (given his reactionary social and dogmatic Catholic views, probably took the work as a ‘tract on good versus evil’); Auguste Glardon’s 1895 essay on RLS (in which he commends ‘Markheim’, gives a long exposition of ‘The Lantern Bearers’ and describes Falesà as a work of realism ‘féroce et pourtant décent’); essays on RLS by Symbolist-critic Téodor de Wyzewa.]
Jérusalem, Christine (2007). ‘Stevenson, Schwob, Renard, Echenoz : des œuvres filiales?’ In Christian Berg, Alexandre Gefen, Monique Jutrin & Agnès Lhermitte (eds.) (2007). Retours à Marcel Schwob – D’un siècle à l’autre (1905-2005). Rennes : Les Presses Universitaires de Rennes.
Jolly, Roslyn (2007). ‘Women’s Trading in Fanny Stevenson’s The
Cruise of the “Janet Nichol”. In Leigh Dale and Helen Gilbert (eds.). Economies
of Representation, 1790-2000: Colonialism and Commerce. Aldershot: Ashgate.
[A comparative study of the pragmatics of interaction in four trading encounters on South Sea islands involving Fanny Stevenson and the rhetoric of her narratives of them in Janet Nichol. Two involve failed communication, at Marakai (Gilbert Islands) and Penrhyn (Cook Islands), where Fanny observes apparent greed, uncivilized behaviour, suspicion and irrational hostility – which she does not try to relate to the inhabitants’ experience of being cheated by white traders, their incomprehension of money-based interactions and their fear and undying resentment of the depredations of duplicitous slave-traders.
Two later encounters are more successful, at Natau and Nanoma (Ellice Islands): here Fanny interacted on board ship and with women in undefined trading/gift-giving transactions involving mutual respect. She has also now learnt to understand the fears and lack of trust of the natives. In depicting the native women ‘taking possession’ of her and treating her as a pet she inverts roles assigned by typical imperial narratives. At the same time, her narrative ensures her an ultimate controlling power to interpret and judge.]
Jones, William B., Jr. (2007). ‘ “Hello Mackellar”:
Classics Illustrated meets The Master of Ballantrae’.
Journal of Stevenson Studies 4: 247-69.
[About a year-and-a-half before the Errol Flynn swashbuckling travesty, Classics Illustrated published their much more careful comic-book adaptation of Ballantrae, with script by Kenneth W. Fitch, and art by Lawrence Dressler. The William Hole illustrations of 1888 inspired two of the drawings. Stevenson’s text was followed closely, and, though frequently paraphrased, few radical changes were made. One of these occurs at the beginning when Alison throws the coin through the window and then sobs out to James ‘O! I hope you may be killed!’ There is also a notable addition to the melodrama of the final scene: when James comes back to life, the uncertainty of this event is maintained in the text-box but a speech balloon is added for dead/alive James: a chilling ‘Hello, Mackellar’. However, in general ‘the murky moral atmosphere’ and the main structure of the story are well translated into the new medium.]
Katz, Wendy R. (2007). ‘Stevenson’s Siverado Squatters: the figure of “the Jew” and the rhetoric of race’. Journal of Stevenson Studies 4: 73-90.
[‘With the Children of Israel’ in Silverado Squatters is a section devoted to a Jewish merchant and his family. This ‘Kelmar’ is based on Morris Friedberg, an immigrant Russian Jew who ran the general store in Calistoga. His is the only invented name in the text and this sign of distancing can also be seen in references to the affable ‘Jew boy’ with a ready eye for profit and for keeping customers in debt. The invented name, however, can also be seen as part of a more benevolent reduction of fact to fiction, a mixing of narrative with fantasy and humour. The name Kelmar is that of the ‘good old man’ in the popular melodrama The Miller and His Men (also known to Stevenson in a toy-theatre version). The chapter is organized as a three-part narrative: (i) introduction of the storekeeper, (ii) the comic Pickwickian journey by cart to Silverado during which Kelmar tries to sell off a stock of coffee kettles, (iii) the return to Calistoga amid expressions of affection for the ‘Hebrew tyrant’. It is undeniable that figures of the Jew in Stevenson’s fiction often depend on unquestioned cultural stereotypes, yet at the same time in Across the Plains he repeatedly shows solidarity and understanding of despised oppressed races (Irish, native Americans, Chinese, Jews). In ‘The Scot Abroad’ section of Silverado ha also draws comparisons between Scots and Jews. This ‘empathy’ can be seen as part of his exercises in identification with the life of others during his American journey (the working-class emigrants in the ship, for example) and even in the imitation of the literature of others (for example, of Thoreau and Whitman in Across the Plains).]
(2007). ‘ “A Mine of Suggestion”: Remapping Kidnapped’’. Rivista
di Studi Vittoriani 20 [special Stevenson number]: 67-80.
[In his 1964 monograph Kiely wanted to show that Ballantrae, Ebb and Weir should be taken seriously and was ready to grant that TrIs and Kid were just ‘yarns’. Now he sees that in Kid, at least, S produced ‘a text which can still be read as a “clean” adventure with a happy ending, but ‘at the same time, he leads his young protagonist into dangerous linguistic, historical and sexual territories that leave him tainted and his homecoming problematic… On the margins of the text, just across the borders from safety, innocence, and law, are the unsettling shadows of a language, history, and passions forbidden but not altogether expelled and forgotten’. (79-80)]
Kramer, Jürgen (2007). ‘The Sea in Robert Louis
Stevenson’s writings’. Journal of Stevenson Studies 4: 168-84.
[The sea is a culturally-constructed space, reflected and constructed by discourses. In a study of Stevenson’s letters, essays, poetry and narrative fiction, Kramer analyses meanings and roles, multiple functions and ambivalent feelings. Although Stevenson generally remains within the traditional (wide and multiple) discourses of the sea, in ‘The Merry Men’ he is more radical, giving a character role to an anthropomorphized sea. (Concerning this story, he disagrees with Luisa Villa, who sees an Oedipal triangle, since he emphasizes the similarity of the two male protagonists.)]
Kucich, John (2007). Imperial Masochism: British Fiction, Fantasy and Social Class.
Princeton: Princeton University Press.
[John Kucich (Rutgers University) analyzes late 19th century British colonial fiction (works of Stevenson, Olive Schreiner, Kipling and Conrad) with particular focus on the relationship between imperial politics and social class, and how this was shaped by variants of masochistic fantasy. His approach is psychoanalytic but he adopts a more contemporary, relational approach to masochism, defining it largely in pre-oedipal terms of wounded infantile narcissism and compensatory omnipotent fantasy, rather than narrowly as a form of sexual perversion.
In his lengthy, excellent chapter on RLS he divides Stevenson’s life and work into two phases, the ‘melancholic’ and the ‘magical’, the former revolving round instances of self-sacrifice or self-punishment, the latter exaggerating autonomy and self-esteem, both being frequently expressed through the device of doubling and, in the South Seas period, being ‘mobilized in the service of a complex and progressive political engagement’. Along these lines he offers insightful readings of Jekyll & Hyde, the Scottish novels Kidnapped and Catriona, The Master of Ballantrae, and Weir of Hermiston, as well as the South Seas fictions (heavily influenced by evangelicalism) ‘The Beach of Falesà’, The Ebb-Tide and The Wrecker, ending with a discussion of A Footnote to History and other non-fiction writing. This book is a noteworthy contribution to the re-evaluation of Stevenson as a major writer. (Hilary Beattie)]
McCracken-Flesher, Caroline (2007). ‘Cross-Channel Stevenson: David Balfour and the Problem of Scottish Return’. International Journal of Scottish Literature 2.
Malzahn, Manfred (2007). ‘Walks on the Wild Side: Stevenson’s and Conrad’s Literary Journeys’.
The Journal of East-West Comparative literature. 17 (Fall/Winter 2007): 409-27.
[The article examines attraction/revulsion towards the perceived margins of civilization and familiar cultural norms. We see the dialectic in David Balfour’s strange feeling of ‘remorse for something wrong’ as he walks towards the bank and away from Alan Breck at the end of Kidnapped. Writers from the margins, like Stevenson and Conrad, typically have a difficult relationship with metropolitan language culture: desiring to be a part of it, yet experiencing success as self-denial of their origins. Both Stevenson and Conrad have an ambivalent fixation on the English gentleman as an object of both love and hate: Stevenson’s gentleman characters all have negative traits and Stevenson himself escaped from this role by Bohemianism (which combines elitism with deviant behavior) – an insider and an outsider at once. Both writers wrote of journeys that transcend civilized gentility (the ‘walks on the wild side’ of the title) that allow them and their readers to indulge their fascination with the abominated before returning to normality.]
Marroni, Francesco & Marilena Saracino (a cura di) (2007). New Critical Perspectives on Robert Louis Stevenson. Pescara: Rivista di Studi Vittoriani 20 [special number].
Marroni, Francesco (2007). ‘Memory and Mortality in Robert Louis Stevenson’s Weir of Hermiston’. Rivista di Studi Vittoriani 20 [special Stevenson number]: 149-166.
Naugrette, Jean-Pierre (2007). ‘Stevenson avec Barthes : Treasure Island,
entre plaisir et jouissance’. Hervé Fourtine, Nathalie Jaëck, Joël Richard
(eds.). Le plaisir. Presses universitaires de Bordeaux. 33-45.
[Though presented as a boy’s book, in many ways TrIs does not correspond to the conventions of the genre: (i) with two narrators, there is no simple identity between reader and hero/narrator, (ii) no coincidence between dreamed and the real adventures, (iii) no colonizing conquest of the island, no ‘king’, (iv) the island is no paradise, is frightening and repulsive, (v) the story ends with moral emptiness and a haunting nightmare, (vi) there is no clear hero: it could be Silver; and in ch. 33 Livesey tells the story of the treasure in which the hero is ben Gunn. As so often, S undermines genre conventions.
Why is the adult reader content, despite the youthful public explicitly addressed? Roland Barthes distinguishes plaisir (confortable pleasure) and joissance (thrilling, climactic pleasure), the latter associated with the feeling of entering into a new and unpredictable space. In TrIs there is a modernist ‘duplicity’ in the ‘play’ between comforting pleasure and the feeling of loss at the moment of climactic pleasure. The adult reader is led towards the loss and disruption associated with ‘jouissance’.
Why is pleasure produced, despite the nature of the events narrated? For Barthes, remembered pleasure is comforting—hence, TrIs in memory continues to be strangely associated with paradise islands. The actual reading experience, however, is closer to ‘jouissance’, captured in the work of illustrators (who also capture an essential part of S’s ‘picture-making romance’).
S seems to be describing ‘jouissance’ when he says reading should be ‘absorbing and voluptuous’, with ‘our mind filled with the busiest, kaleidoscopic dance of images’ (‘Gossip on Romance’). Mr Utterson in JH seems to be in a reader’s position, finding ‘his imagination engaged, or rather enslaved’ dreaming of obsessive reptitions and variations. The dedication to Kidnapped similarly promises the reader ‘engaging images to mingle with his dreams’. Barthes notes the ‘proximity (identity?) of jouissance and fear’ and Jim too observes that the locals were frightened by Billy Bones’s yarns ‘but on looking back they rather liked it’. And we, too, reading TrIs, remember and have pleasure, yet the actual act or reading is associated with the more dangerous and indescribable pleasure of ‘jouissance’.]
(2007). ‘The Strange Case of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’. Men’s
News Daily (mensnewsdaily.com), 12 feb. 2007.
[A long newspaper article about JH, over half of it devoted to film versions. A version of this previously published in The Hatchet: The Journal of Lizzie Borden Studies (June 2005).]
Norquay, Glenda (2007). Robert Louis Stevenson and Theories of Reading. Manchester: Manchester University Press. £50. 9780719073861
[Robert Louis Stevenson and Theories of reading: the reader as vagabond combines literary history and reception theory in readings of Stevenson's literary essays, his letters, and a selection of his fiction. It argues that Stevenson both exemplified tensions in the literary market of his time and anticipated later developments in reading theory. Drawing on the theories of Michel de Certeau in particular it suggests that Stevenson presented himself as a literary 'poacher', roaming over the wide range of genres which characterised his reading and determined his literary output. His understanding of the activity of reading, a product both of his Scottish upbringing and late nineteenth-century cultural debates over the role of fiction, is traced out in the book through discussion of Calvinism and its relationship with reading pleasure; an assessment of the relationship between popular fiction and cultural consumption in the late nineteenth-century; and analysis of the changing role of the literary critic. Individual chapters look in detail at The Master of Ballantrae; St Ives; The Wrecker and the publication of Treasure Island, as well as focusing on Stevenson's reading of Covenanting literature; his engagement with popular fiction; his reading of Dumas; and his debate with Henry James. The book also situates Stevenson within the context of subsequent theories of and debates over reading.
From the publisher’s presentation: ‘This book offers an unusual combination of literary history and reception theory. Drawing upon Robert Louis Stevenson’s fiction and literary essays it argues that Stevenson both exemplified tensions within the literary market of his time and anticipated later developments in reading theory.
‘Situating Stevenson’s ideas on reading firmly within the context of his Scottish upbringing, it suggests that his ambivalence about the pleasures of reading led to a sophisticated analysis of literary consumption. Stevenson’s self-representation as ‘literary vagabond’ is revealed as a complicated product of his relationship to contemporary debates about the function of literature but also as emerging from his own engagements with Scottish Calvinism. By combining the study of nineteenth-century cultural politics with detailed analysis of Scottish religious paradigms, Stevenson is reassessed as both a Victorian and Scottish writer.
‘The book presents fresh interpretations of Stevenson’s literary essays, of major works, including The Master of Ballantrae, and some of his more neglected fiction, such as St Ives and The Wrecker but it also illuminates understanding of his role within debates over popular fiction, romance and reading pleasure. In its emphasis on the interplay between personal history, national cultural traditions and the literary marketplace it makes a significant contribution to the microanalysis of reading positions and to reader theory.’
Review by Roderick Watson Journal of Stevnson Studies 5: 131-4: 'a stimulating and helpful guide to Stevenson's more profound thinking about the nature of fiction']
Phillips, Lawrence (2007). ‘Colonial culture in the Pacific, in Robert Louis Stevenson and Jack London’. Race & Class 48.iii: 63-82.
[The nineteenth century political, economic and aesthetic transition of western colonial practice in the South Pacific is reflected in ‘The Beach of Falesa’ and London’s ‘Captain David Grief’: ‘while Stevenson’s story powerfully criticizes the violence and venality of frontier competition and violence, barely a decade later, London perceptively signals the shift from direct colonisation to the economic imperialism that still regulates the world today’ (82).]
Ratnapalan, Laavagnan (2007). ‘Stevenson and cultural survivals in the South Seas’. Journal of Stevenson Studies 3: 69-84.
[We can suppose that Stevenson came into contact with ideas the ideas of E.B. Tylor, since we know he read anthropological literature and maintained a long correspondence with Andrew Lang, a keen follower of Tylor’s works. In addition, he shows an awareness of Tylor’s concept of the ‘cultural survival’ (an uncivilized element in an evolved society), though he does not see Western influence as progress and is aware that changes in ‘primitive’ customs can cause adverse results. In two cases a discussion of a savage ‘survival’ is undermined so that the story no longer corresponds to Tylorian progress: (i) Hawaiian untrustworthiness is presented as ‘a… survival’ making adaptation to modern Western ways difficult—yet he adds that most of their problems derive from changes forced on their customs by Western culture; (ii) King Tembimok is presented as ‘the last tyrant, the last erect vestige of a dead society’, yet then Stevenson then reveals that his status is actually a recent development and a product of modern conditions.
Stevenson in general emphasizes the complicated nature of representing and judging culture and problematizes the idea of Western progress: he points out, for example, that the suppression of general small-scale warfare leads to a loss of moral identity, and elsewhere ironically observes how the modern island government relies on primitive criminality to provide its convict labour. In his chapter on the Marquesans he uses the word ‘survivals’ to refer to the abandoned hearthstones of houses, and the death-wish of the population is seen not as a surviving trait but as a direct result of the arrival of the Europeans and the consequent depopulation and loss of identity.]
Sandison, Alan (2007). ‘The Shadow of Jocasta: Margaret Stevenson & Son’. Rivista di Studi Vittoriani 20 [special Stevenson number: 31-54.
[Stevenson never shook free from his mother. Rivalry over her (‘my mother is my father’s wife’, 1875) possibly partly motivated the 1873 rows with his father. Only a few weeks after his father died he insisted that his mother accompany him and family to America and then to the South Seas.
Margaret Stevenson was actually delighted by the challenge of backwoods and South Sea islands. An attempt to show independence by writing an account of their travels was discouraged by S., so her lively From Saranac to the Marquesas was not published until 1903. Letters from Samoa (1906) is a greater literary achievement (and reveals how much of the creation of Vailima came from her--she encouraged and paid for the new wing, for example).]
Saracino, Marilena (2007). ‘Writing Letters: Robert Louis Stevenson and the Victorian
Literary Scene’. Rivista di Studi Vittoriani 20 [special Stevenson number]: 55-66.
[S’s entertaining and carefully-written letters give us an insight into his artistic world-view. He argues with excitement and intensity about artistic theory and shows great attention to the quality of writing. Yet he was also unsure of his own position, for though he opposed Realism he also declared that ‘with all my romance, I am a realist and a prosaist’.]
Sborgi, Ilaria (2007). ‘Structures of Address in R.L. Stevenson’s “The Bottle Imp” ’. Rivista di Studi Vittoriani 20 [special Stevenson number]: 191-208.
Ilaria (2007). ‘ “Home” in the South Seas’. Journal of Stevenson Studies
[Stevenson chose an ethno-historical approach for In the South Seas as a way of understanding the new and various phenomena he encountered, instead of the personal and adventurous narrative that readers expected from him. However, rather than focussing on the failure to create ‘a very singular book of travels’ (see Giglioni, above), Sborgi looks at the interesting continuities with his previous travel writing. In these, too, documentary sources had always been important , but ably concealed, so that the narrative seems just one traveller’s observation and experience. The ethno-historical approach was not new either, if we think of the David Balfour novels. His innovation in the South Seas book was the use for analogy of personal elements: his own cultural heritage, childhood memories, Scottish history. ‘Home’, the site of these familiar elements, was a useful mobile concept that could be used to understand other cultures. Another means to this end is the cultivation of ‘sympathy’ (a central concept of his theories of reading and writing), through analogy and storytelling. ]
Simon, Marilyn (2007). ‘Doubled brothers, divided self: duality and
destruction in The Master of Ballantrae’. Journal of Stevenson
Studies 4: 123-150.
[A study of Double structures and their interpretations in Ballantrae: (i) the various doubled structures seen in terms of Scottish national duality and divided loyalties (following Gifford 1981, 1988); (ii) James and Henry, opposed and different yet united: each desiring what the other has, both desiring to destroy the other, and the two are buried in a common grave; (iii) Henry’s attempt to distinguish himself from evil, which (as in the case of Jekyll) only makes this part of his personality increasingly dominant (especially as he enters the wilderness/unconscious); (iv) Mackellar’s similar attempt to distinguish himself from James, despite their similarities—a wish to deny his own moral ambiguity and also his own mortality; (v) the doubling of ‘Johnstone’ and the Editor.
In MoB (despite Mackellar’s initial presentation) there is no simple good/evil division of characters: the two brothers are opposed to each other and against themselves. Their (even physical) similarity with each other (and their intimacy with evil) increases towards the end, despite their instance on difference and mutual hatred. For Henry, the journey into the wilderness (like a journey into the unconscious) causes the final release of repressed desires.
Henry only uses Scots after the duel, when later mentioning it and when evoking lost childhood happiness (Soulis in ‘Thrawn Janet’ also slips into Scots in moments of stress), showing Scots as associated states dominated by instinctive reactions.
Mackellar undergoes an interesting evolution: he starts by seeing a clear good/evil distinction and ends by accepting the inexplicable, and by facing his own complex nature (after his attempted murder of the Master) and by facing death itself (in the Master’s final glance), an experience which, in contrast, kills Henry. Both Mackellar, in the end, and the serio-comic ‘Editor’ accept their moral and Scottish complexities.]
Subotsky, Fiona (2007). ‘Medical Classics: The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’. British Medical Journal 334: 371.
Stevenson, Robert Benjamin, III (2007). ‘Stevenson’s dentist : an
unsung hero’. Journal of Stevenson
Studies 4: 43-51.
[Stevenson had his teeth extracted and replaced by false teeth in Oakland in 1880, following the promise from his father of £250 annually. The dentist chosen was probably the most prominent in Oakland, Dr Russell H. Cool. The ordeal of extraction is reconstructed and the skill of the dentist praised.]
Swearingen, Roger G. (2007). ‘Stevenson’s
final text of Kidnapped’. Journal of Stevenson Studies 3:111-115.
[In 1893, in preparation for the 2-volume Adventures of David Balfour (published by Cassells in 1895), Stevenson went through a copy of Kidnapped marking more than 150 changes, from punctuation to substantives: David’s age is changed from 16 to 17, a paragraph is deleted from ch. 25 telling th later fate of Robin Oig and another paragraph is deleted at the end to leave the narrative more open to the sequel. (The Edinburgh Edition is based on this edition, adopting more than 80% of them, but also adding many further changes especially to punctuation and the Scotd spellings.)
Barry Menikoff in his editions of Falesá (1983) and Kidnapped (1999) has argued for the superiority of MS editions (they capture the emphases and nuances of speech and they don’t contain the changes made by others). But printed versions also contain S’s intentions, since he was able to make new changes and correct some of the printers’ changes in proofs and in this marked book and Swearingen judges the 1895 edition (reprinted by Barnes and Nobel in 2006 with an introduction by Caroline MacCrcken-Flesher) as ‘the best choice of text for any new edition’. ]
Swearingen, Roger G. (2007). ‘Recent Studies in Robert Louis Stevenson: Survey of Biographical Works and
Checklist of Criticism—1970-2005.’ Dickens Studies Annual 38: 205-98.
[covers Biography and Criticism: - Biography (General Essays, Books and Essays on Special Topics, Stevenson’s Health, Book-Length Biographies, Fanny Stevenson and Isobel Strong; followed by a list of works cited) (206-259) - Checklist of Criticism (Influences and Successors, General Studies, Individual Works [subdivided by title], Collections of Essays) (260-98). Many items in the Checklist are also annotated with a brief paragraph about contents, with criticism limited to occasional notes on misprints etc. For Part I (editions of Stevenson’s writings and reference works), see Searingen (2006).]
Tomaiolo, Saverio (2007). ‘Under
Mackellar’s eyes: metanarrative strategies in The Master of Ballantrae’.
Journal of Stevenson Studies 3: 85-110.
[For S, ‘romance’ was a deliberate narrative process, explored in his essays and translated into his fictions. MoB in particular sums up many stylistic and thematic features he previously experimented with and combines them with a mature metanarrative awareness, in ‘an elegy on the impossibility of the romance in the age of materialism’, with James like Quixote, uanble to deal with prosaic present-day reality.
The metanarrative interest is present right from the start in the Editor’s Introduction, with its playful assurance of the text’s reliability. Mackellar too pretends to be objective, but the reader can see how he manipulates, interprets and intrudes into other texts in his attempt to reduce heteroglossia to monological discourse.
A basic anthithesis of the text is between content (romance) and form (the unromantic language). Mackellar wants to demonstrate the anachronism of the Durisdeer legend: he underplays the romance of the duel, presents the departure of the Jacobite recruits as a miserable affair and calls James ‘the discredited hero of a romance’.
Metatextuality is also seen in the novel’s parodistic revisiting of many themes from S’s fictions: (i) the multiple documents and Double theme remind one of JH, with the difference that here there is one character who controls all the documents—framed by the ur-Editor ‘R.L.S.’—who is yet is unable to present a single view of the devilish James; (ii) the family feud and the encounter of private lives with historical events reminds one of Kidnapped, also evoked in the episode of James and Burke on the Sarah and James and Mackellar on the Nonesuch (reminiscent of David and Alan aboard the Covenant), in the brief reference to Alan Breck himself, whose name, imperfectly remmebred by Burke, is given as ‘Alan Black’, and in the scenes of James and Burke ‘on the road’; (iii) the uncanny Scottish Doubles story aspect of MoB reminds us of the story of Tod Lapraik in Catriona; (iv) Treasure Island is evoked and parodied in the pirates, conquered ship, fascinating villain, and the quest for buried treasure.
The closing epitaphs on the tombs in the wilderness (ironically anticipated by the twin shop-signs in New York) remind one of the tomb in the wilderness in Weir, though in the later book it is placed at the beginning of the narrative and generates the action of S’s attempt at a new kind of romance.]
Towheed, Shafquat (2007). [Review of Claire Harman’s Myself and the Other Fellow: A Life of Robert Louis Stevenson (New York: Harper Collins, 2005)]. English Literature in Transition 50.ii: 214-217.
Michela (2007). ‘Markheim and the Shadow of the Other’.
[A slightly longer version of Vanon Alliata, Michela (2006). ‘Markheim and the Shadow of the Other’. In Ambrosini & Dury (eds.). Robert Louis Stevenson. Writer of Boundaries. Madison, WI: The University of Wisconsin Press. 299-311.]
Van Strien, Kees (2007). ‘Holland in Robert Louis Stevenson’s Catriona’. English Studies 88ii:
[The Low Countries scenes in Part II of Catriona may derive in part from personal recollections of the 1862 trip with his parents to Bad-Homburg, which would have started at Rotterdam, where Stevenson could have had a first sight of ‘a line of windmills birling in the breeze’. However, much local colour in chapters 21-3 comes from the narrative by Margarte Steuart (Mrs. Caldrewood) of her 1756 tour in the Low Countries (first published 1842, reprinted 1884), a source not mentioned in S’s existing correspondence. Here we find the Dutch boat ‘like a partancrab’, the foul language of the disputous boatman, the same list of the various means of transport between Helvoet to Rotterdam, the same Scots word to describe the maids ‘slestering’ and scrubbing the streets, the wide quays at Rotterdam, the steep stairs and the Dutch fireplaces projecting into the room. Since this source does not cover Leiden, in these scenes the descriptions become more generic.]
Watson, Roderick (2007). ‘ “The unrest and movement of our century”:
the universe of The Wrecker’. Journal
of Stevenson Studies 4: 114-28.
[In a narrative combining realism and symbolic devices (like paired characters), The Wrecker presents a darkly satiric picture of business and profit, in an amoral world where self-interest is pursued by rootless individuals (who we can also sympathize with), many of them ‘discarded sons’ (especially in the Currency Lass, a ‘ship of fools’). Although the final slaughter is an epiphany of greed, blood, money and food, the text as a whole is closer to a ‘postmodern black comedy’ of individuals in a free-floating, absurd universe, ruled by accident and coincidence.]
(2007). ‘Sympathy for the Devil’. The Guardian 9 June 2007. online
[An interesting overview of background to JH and of interpretative approaches by this Scottish novelist, who has recently written an introduction to Kidnapped.
[‘The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde was one of the first gothic novels located in a contemporary setting and it is intimately concerned with the failings of its own age…. It is probable that Stevenson was aware that some of his readers would incline towards a gay subplot; indeed, he might have intentionally led them in this direction. But he refused to give a name to Jekyll’s sin… Like the best monsters, the doctor’s sin is all the better for not being seen… Dr Jekyll attempts to fling his sin into another body, but the cynicism of this act engenders evil. If badness lingers in Jekyll, is it possible that there is a little goodness in Hyde?… Stevenson also has sympathy for the devil, and this is part of what makes The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde such an exciting and unexpected read, even for those who think they know the story already.’]
Wickman, Matthew (2007). ‘Stevenson, Benjamin and the Decay of Experience’.
International Journal of Scottish Literature 2.
[Discusses Walter Benjamin’s high esteem for Stevenson’s work, linking this to a concern both writers shared over ‘decay of experience’ in modernity (the ‘reduction of experience to a series of impressions and percpetions’, the division of sensation from reflection, resulting in feelings of alienation). In his essay ‘Der Erzähler’ [The Storyteller] (1936) Benjamin says this evolution can be seen in the replacement of oral storytelling by the novel—though vestiges of storytelling can still be found in a few modern writers, including Stevenson, who he sees as providing an experience richer than that typically supplied by modernity, especially in ‘dialectal images’. In such images ‘thinking comes to a standstill in a constellation saturated with tensions’—a heightened experience of the loss involved in the ‘decay of experience’.
Benjamin praises ‘A Plea for Gas Lamps’ in letter to Theodor and Greta Adorno in 1938 and compares it to Poe’s ‘The Man in the Crowd’ in his essay ‘The Paris of the Second Empire in Baudelaire’. Indeed Wickman sees B’s Arcades Project as similar to S’s essay on a larger scale.]
Wickman, Matthew (2007). The Ruins of
Experience: Scotland ‘s “Romantick” Highlands and the Birth of the Modern
University of Pennsylvania Press.
[Ch. 1 and 2 discuss the role of Stevenson’s narrator as storyteller in Kidnapped and Catriona. ‘These novels, I claim, negotiate the complex dynamics of experience which Stevenson inherits partly from Walter Scott, but more especially from the legacy of late eighteenth-century Scottish Highland romance. More specifically, I interpret this legacy by way of an extended analysis of the 1752 Appin Murder and subsequent Trial of James Stewart, arguing that this trial delineates the contours of modernity’s paradox of experience—the paradox, that is, of the allure accruing to experience for Benjamin and others as a function of its perceived decay. Stevenson’s novels Kidnapped and Catriona take up the Appin Murder, the Stewart Trial, and this history of experience in acute and compelling ways which Benjamin reiterates not only in ‘The Storyteller’, but also across the breadth of his work.’]
Zecchi, Lina (2007). ‘Le testament du docteur Cordelier. La
fiaba nera di Jean Renoir’. Michela Vanon Alliata (ed.). Nel segno
dell’horror. Forme e figure di un genere. Venezia: Cafoscarina. 97-114.
[Traces the initial citical rejection then (from 1979) praise of Renoir’s 1959 version of JH, ‘the freest and most faithful adaptation of Stevenson’s text’, emphasizing Renoir’s ciriticism of bourgeois respectability, and the unusual chance given to Opale (Hyde) to speak, as well as Barrault’s outstanding ‘balletic’ performance.]
(2007). ‘Words on the ebb-tide: Language, Literature and the Politics of
Multiplicity’. Rivista di Studi Vittoriani 20 [special
Stevenson number]: 209-222.
[A study how language and inter-textual reference are used to characterize racial and social multiplicty in The Ebb-Tide. Beach-la-Mar pidgin is used by the islanders and the different speech-styles of the main characters indicates social distinctions and gives an idea of their moral disposition.
Another aspect of speech-style is the frequency, type and range of cultural allusions made by the protagonists, in a wide range from high to low culture. Everyday language and literature prove to be stable points of reference for the characters’ lives among the polyphony of voices, and of cultural and social realities of the South Seas.]
Abbott, Donald M. (2006). ‘Happy for the Child - the Family of Robert Louis Stevenson’. Scottish
Genealogist 53.iii.(September 2006): 131-132.
[A note on three collections of papers deposited in the National Library of Scotland, connected with the Balfours of Pilrig. Collection GD69 comprises legal documents deposited by Mrs Balfour Gedded from the 18t Century to the late 19th, including the marriage contracts of Willie and Henrietta Traquair who ‘in a garden green with me were king and queen.....’. GD126 is from the Balfour-Melvilles mostly concerning Strathkinness, their estate in Fife. GD192 is a miscellaneous collection from a Balfour-Melville descendent a Col. Davey, with many letters relating to the relationships of Margaret Stevenson’s aunts etc., who were the elders who watched the children in the garden of RLS’s infancy.]
Abrahamson, R. L. (2006). ‘Living in a Book: RLS as an Engaged Reader’. In Ambrosini & Dury (2006): 13-22.
Ambrosini, Richard & Richard Dury (ed.) (2006). Robert Louis
Stevenson. Writer of Boundaries. Madison, WI: The University of Wisconsin
[Reviews: Malzahn, Manfred (2006). International Journal of Scottish Literature (IJSL) 1 (Autumn 2006): http://www.ijsl.stir.ac.uk/issue1/ambrosini%20review.htm; Stiles, Anne (2006). Nineteenth-Century Literature 6.iii (Dec2006): 403-406 ('lives up to the promise implied by its star-studded contributor list.... Part III contains many of the highlights of this volume'). Kramer, Jürgen (2007), Journal for the Study of British Cultures 14.i (2007): 79-80 (‘this book should be acquired not only by Stevensonians but also by every academic library’; Jolly, Roslyn (2007), English Literature in Transition 1880-1920 50.iv: 454-57 (The studies in this volume ‘clearly show how people are reading and thinking about Stevenson today’ and ‘the enormous potentiality of the new developments in the field’).]
Ambrosini, Richard & Richard Dury (2006). ‘Introduction’. In Ambrosini & Dury (2006): xi-xxviii.
Ambrosini, Richard (2006). ‘The Four Boundary-Crossings of R. L. Stevenson, Novelist and Anthropologist’. In Ambrosini & Dury (2006): 23-35.
Richard (2006). ‘Robert Louis Stevenson as Theorist and Popular Author: The Art
of Writing and the Pleasure of Reading’. Marco Fazzini (ed. and intro.).
Alba Literaria: A History of
Scottish Literature. Venezia:
Amos edizioni. Pp. 367-385.
[Republication of ‘The Art of Writing and the Pleasure of Reading: R. L. Stevenson as Theorist and Popular Author’. In Jones, Jr., William B. (ed.) (2003). Robert Louis Stevenson Reconsidered. New Critical Perspectives. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Co. Pp. 21-36.]
Arata, Stephen (2006). ‘Stevenson, Morris, and the Value of Idleness’. In Ambrosini & Dury (2006): 3-12.
Arata, Stephen (2006). ‘Robert Louis
Stevenson’. David Scott Kastan (ed.). The Oxford Encylopedia of British
Literature. Vol. 5: 99-102. Oxford/London:Oxford University Press.
[Stevenson, a celebrity in his own lifetime regarded as ‘a writer of exceptional versatility and skill’, was then seen for most of the twentieth century as ‘a writer of the second class’ (Swinnerton, 1914), not a serious thinker. The late twentieth century ‘saw the beginnings of a vigorous revaluation’ as ‘an artist of great range and insight… a prescient literary theorist, a shrewd essayist and social critic and… a sharp-eyed witness to the colonial history of the South Pacific’ (100).In his early career he was known as an essayist of ‘concise and evocative prose’ whose ‘genial personage’ projects ‘an aura of companiable ease’. He was also ‘a literary theorist of uncommon intelligence’ who wrote ‘a series of essays on the art of fiction that reject some of the main tenets of Victorian realism’: ‘Stevenson’s antimimeticism prefiigures important moments in modern literature, and it is one source of his interest to writers such as Borges, Nabokov and Calvino’ (100).
From the late 1870s Stevenson turned increasingly to fiction: The New Arabian Nights (‘exercises in camp avant la lettre’); Treasure Island (‘an archetypal fanatasy narrative’ with the protagonist gaining maturity via a series of trials, yet with an ‘atmosphere of moral ambiguity’); and the gothic tales of the early 1880s, culminating in Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. (‘a potent myth for the modern era... notable too for its narrative structure’) (101).
The two fictional masterpieces of his Samoan years, Falesá and The Ebb-Tide ‘anticipated (and indeed influenced) the South Seas fiction of Joseph Conrad’, depicting the ravages—both psychological and material—of colonial exploitation’. In the same period Stevenson produced ‘the vastly underrated novel The Wrecker… a surprisingly cynical recasting of the narrative elements of Treasure Island’ and ‘a gimlet-eyed meditation on the mingling of art and commerce in the modern world’ (102). The final period of his life was also associated with interesting Scottish fiction: Ballantrae, Catriona, and Weir of Hermiston.]
Arata, Stephen (2006). ‘Robert Louis Stevenson: A Literary Life, by William Gray […] Robert Louis Stevenson and the Colonial Imagination, by Ann C. Colley’ [review]. Victorian Studies 48 (Spring 2006): 568-571.
William. ‘The Nineteenth century: The Victorian Period. 2. The Novel’. Year’s
Work in English Studies 85.i (2006): 694-5.
[The survey for 2004 (published 2006) includes (i) William Gray’s Literary Life biography (focussing on ‘his writings and literary development within the various political and cultural contexts of which he was a part’) ; (ii) Ann C. Colley’s Robert Louis Stevenson and the Colonial Imagination (which ‘draws on extensive archive material to investigate Stevenson’s experiences in the South Seas’) ; (iii) Penelope LeFew-Blake’s article (see below in this section); (iv) Roslyn Jolly’s edition of Fanny Stevenson’s The Cruise of the Janet Nichol ; (v) Roslyn Jolly, ‘South Sea Gothic: Pierre Loti and Robert Louis Stevenson’ (ELT 47:i) ; (vi) Guy Davidson, ‘Homosexual Relations, Masculine Embodiment, and Imperialism in Stevenson’s The Ebb Tide’ (ELT 47:ii) ; (vii) two chapters of Fiona McCulloch’s The Fictional Role of Childhood (see below in this section) ; (viii) Dury’s edition of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde ; (ix) Mehew’s long entry on Stevenson in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (quoting him at the end of the section: ‘the critics (following pioneer work by David Daiches and Janet Adam Smith) are beginning to take him seriously again’).]
Balderston, Daniel (2006). ‘Murder by Suggestion: El sueño de los héroes and The Master of Ballantrae’. In Ambrosini & Dury (2006): 348-358.
Buckton, Oliver S. (2006). ‘Cruising with Robert Louis Stevenson: The South Seas from Journal to Fiction’. In Ambrosini & Dury (2006): 199-212.
Butler, Lisa (2006). ‘ “That damned
old business of the war in the members”: The Discourse of (In)Temperance in
Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’. Romanticism
on the Net 44 (November 2006):
[JH ‘has historically been read as a “timeless” allegory dramatizing the fundamental conflict between the “good” and “evil” elements of human nature. More recent readings of the novel, however, have put forth historicized interpretations of the text emphasizing its engagements with the cultural developments of late-nineteenth-century Britain. This article builds upon these historicized readings, arguing that Stevenson’s novella is reflective of the anxieties engendered by current theories of evolutionary degeneration and, more specifically, its manifestations in illicit behaviour, especially in the areas of alcohol consumption and sexual expression. Stevenson’s novel actively critiques those cultural sites most vocal in articulating such anxieties, namely the temperance and social purity movements of the later nineteenth century. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde thus deploys a language of (in)temperance to interrogate the potentially destructive results of an evolutionary model which posits the subject as already split between his or her civilized (moral) and barbaric (immoral) selves.]
Calder, Jenni (2006). ‘Figures in a Landscape: Scott, Stevenson, and Routes to the Past’. In Ambrosini & Dury (2006): 121-132.
Jodey (2006). ‘Much Ado about Handwriting: Countersigning with the Other Hand
in Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’. Romanticism
on the Net 44 (Nov 2006).
[JH ‘has been seen as the nineteenth century prototype of the workings of the criminal mind…. current psychoanalytic readings of the novel suggest that it serves as a precursor to Freud’s theories on the structural model of personality, and repression and that Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde can provide insight into the psychology of addiction, multiple personality disorder and borderline personality disorders, as these terms have currency in the discipline of modern psychology.’ The present study suggests that ‘there exists a displaced link between writing, reading, interpretation, and criminality as the shadowy “place” where the “other” begins and collusion enters the scene. Taking as a premise Jacques Derrida’s contention that “it is the ear of the other that signs,” this paper is concerned with “composition,” signatures and encryption as a way of exploring how these texts pose insoluble psychic double binds regarding the determination of criminality.’]
Colley, Ann C. (2006). ‘Light, Darkness, and Shadow: Stevenson in the South Seas’. In Ambrosini & Dury (2006): 181-189.
(2006). ‘Two versions of death: the transformation of the literary corpse in
Kafka and Stevenson’. Textual practice 20ii: 281-299.
[According to Nabokov Stevenson’s question ‘Has my face changed?’ immediately after his fatal stroke shows his death as curiously imitating Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. In what way is JH an allegory of the actual death of the author?
Kafka says (in a letter to Max Brod) that the writer is constantly attempting to escape the body by writing, yet is made aware of the illusory nature of this desire. The writer is constantly playacting at death: Stevenson is imagining his own death when he writes of Jekyll’s transformation and at he end he experienced his own death as just such a metamorphosis.
In ‘Memoirs of Himself’ Stevenson remarks on the impossibility of conceiving his own death like that of others (who disappear): it can only be conceived as a ‘change of function’, a transformation: death not as disappearance but as appearance (as in Kafka’s Metamorphosis).
Jekyll’s transformation is an appearance of his death. At the end of chapter 8 and the discovery of Hyde’s body by Utterson ‘the allegory simultaneously forms and fails to take form. Which is to say it takes the indeterminate form of Hyde’s body’ (288). Myers wanted Stevenson to change the end of the story and make Jekyll commit suicide (and then transform in to Hyde), but ‘the moral of the story comes to depend… upon the enigma of a purely physical transference’ (290).
‘[D]oes the corpse… attest to literary truth? This has been the hypothesis I have been testing in this paper’ (292). ‘Whoever looks for the key to a text ordinarily finds a body’ (Jacques Rancière 1999) and this is true of JH—where a central image is Hyde’s body in the cabinet that refuses to be resurrected, and which Utterson will realize is a sign of his own death when he discovers that his own name has been substituted for Hyde’s in Jekyll’s will.]
Clotilde (2006). ‘Robert Louis Stevenson and the “optic nerve”: portraiture in Weir
of Hermiston’. Cahiers victoriens et edouardiens 64 (oct. 2006) : 127-136.
[In addition to a focus on ‘voices’, the opening chapters of Weir are charcterized by a ‘marked visuality’. The description of Weir has much emphasis on colour and lighting effects and Raeburn’s portrait of Lord Braxfield seems a clear influence. ]
Denisoff, Dennis (2006). ‘Consumerism and Stevenson’s Misfit Masculinities’. In Ambrosini & Dury (2006): In Ambrosini & Dury (2006): 286-298.
Donovan, Stephen (2006). ‘Stevenson and Popular Entertainment’. In Ambrosini & Dury (2006): 70-82.
Dryden, Linda (2006). ‘“City of Dreadful Night”: Stevenson’s Gothic London’. In Ambrosini & Dury (2006): 253-264.
Dury, Richard (2006). ‘Crossing the Bounds of Single Identity: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and a Paper in a French Scientific Journal’. In Ambrosini & Dury (2006): 237-252.
Eagleton, Mary (2006). ‘Rewriting the Master: Emma Tennant and Robert Louis Stevenson’. Literature Interpretation Theory 17 .iii/iv: 223-241.
Farr, Liz (2006). ‘Stevenson and the (Un)familiar: The Aesthetics of Late-Nineteenth-Century Biography’. In Ambrosini & Dury (2006): 36-47.
(2006). ‘Stevenson and “textual dwelling”.’ International Journal of Scottish
[About Stevenson’s aims in writing In the South Seas and why the project proved impossible. ‘[T]his article t will look to consider three aspects of tension relating to presence in In the South Seas: that is, the anxiety of the unwritable subject; the destabilizing influence of a proficient indigenous textualizing presence; and the extent to which the pursuit of a ‘complete’ encounter, which does not admit the partial nature of the beach, is frustrated by building and writing.’[…]
‘Stevenson struggled, throughout the composition of his material, to convert his own experiences into a comprehensive survey of Pacific culture in the islands he visited. Yet although his encounters were frequently subordinated to the impulse to represent them, that is, to writing, it may also be said that writing for Stevenson was subordinate to the encounter; it was a means, however flawed, of achieving a ‘transition’ that would imply, despite the pressure to textualize, the possibility of engaging in a reciprocal encounter.’]
Elayne Wareing (2006). The
Shepherds of Pan on the Big Sur-Monterey Coast. Xlibris.
[Subtitled ‘Nature Wisdom of Robert Louis Stevenson, Gertrude Atherton, Jack London, Robinson Jeffers, John Steinbeck, Eric Barker, D.H. Lawrence, Hemry Miller and Others, with a Postscript on William James’. Ch. 4 ‘From Edinburgh to Monterey: Robert Louis Stevenson and Pan’, pp. 47-60.]
Goh, Robbie B. H. (2006). ‘Stevenson and the Property of Language: Narrative, Value, Modernity’.>In Ambrosini & Dury (2006): 169-180.
Hirsch, Gordon (2006). ‘Tontines, Tontine Insurance, and Commercial Culture: Stevenson and Osbourne’s The Wrong Box’. In Ambrosini & Dury (2006): 83-94.
Iriarte, Antonio (2006).
‘La fábulas de Stevenson’. Babelia (sup. to El Pais 741, 4 feb.
[Introduction to the Fables and report on the recent publication of the original English texts by Ralph Parfect (2005), followed by the translation into Spanish. online]
Jaëck, Nathalie (2006). ‘The Greenhouse vs. the Glasshouse: Stevenson’s Stories as Textual Matrices’. In Ambrosini & Dury (2006): 48-59.
Jolly, Roslyn (2006). ‘Robert Louis Stevenson, Henry Maine, and the
Anthropology of Comparative Law’. Journal of British Studies 45.i:
[S’s Pacific nonfiction was influenced by not only by E.B. Tylor but also by H.S. Maine (Ancient Law, 1861) and his idea of Roman law as important in defining Western civilization and impeding Westerners’ understanding of other legal cultures.
S, who had studied him at University, like Maine saw primitive societies as not lawless but possessed of an alternative legal culture. Like Maine he had an evolutionary approach to cultural history (cf. the opening of A Footnote to History), but, being more sceptical about progress, was more open to indigenous self-rule. While Maine kept comparisons within Indo-European parameters, S (seeing a kinship of all human beings) often made comparisons between European and Polynesian cultures.
Like Maine, S had a subtle appreciation of alien legal cultures: so for him, tapu was not ‘wanton prohibition’ but a useful tool of social regulation (where European systems introduced ‘barbarous injustice’). It is true that he judged the traditional obligations of reciprocity negatively, but perhaps they had suffered from Western contact—his two examples involve intrusive foreign elements. S also thought Polynesians incapable of administering trusts, but his fiction shows a more subtle understanding: ‘Something in It’ ends with the missionary’s idea of obligation and the islanders’ viewpoints alien to each other yet equally valid. ]
(2006). ‘The Ebb-Tide and The Coral Island’. Scottish Studies
Review 7.ii: 79-91
[S reworked The Coral Island in The Ebb-Tide, a ‘narrative of failed adventure and existential unease’ and a rejection of Ballantyne’s ‘colonialist fantasies’. Both books have a trio of Anglo-Saxon adventurers: an active leader, a more reflective second-in-command, and a disrespectful joker The second of these provides our main narrative perspective and at one point is put to the test of taking charge of a ship; the third is physically smaller than the others, uses slang and is the most overtly racist. In both books, too, a European missionary is crucial to the resolution of the plot. The differences, however, are more interesting: Davis has ‘sterling qualities’ but is undone by his appetites; Herrick is thoughtful but also weak; Huish is ‘wholly vile’ a derider of all human values. Ballantyne sees the islanders as horribly savage, while S makes everyone savage except the natives; Ballantyne opposes protagonists and pirates, while S identifies them and has no characters embodying positive ideals of law and civilization.
Strangely, though ET is full of quotations, no reference is made to Ballantyne—this rewriting of CI is ‘an act of iconoclasm… and slaying of a literary father-figure’. In TrIs S had outdone Ballantyne [Naugrette 2007, below, however, notes how in TrIs S already undermines adventure-book conventions], but in ET he slays his literary ancestor.
Attwater and his dreamlike island are part of the expressionist second part of ET, full of symbolic resonances, centred on existentialist struggles: a clear model for Conrad and a transformation of S into a new kind of proto-modernist author.]
Jones, Catherine (2006). ‘Travel Writing, 1707-1918’. Ian Brown et al. (eds.).
The Edinburgh History of Scottish Literature.
Vol 2: Enlightenment, Britain and Empire (1707-1918). Edinburgh University Press. 277-285.
[Deals with Stevenson briefly (pp. 283-5): (i) he is interested in the psychological and bodily effects of travel; (ii) observes racial and national differences with ‘wonder’ and ‘respect’; (iii) for him ‘travel is crucially about disorientation; travel writing allows him to easily adopt the different personas, because it does not require a unifying perspective. . ]
Katz, Wendy R. (2006).‘Whitman and Thoreau as Literary Stowaways in Stevenson’s American Writings’. In Ambrosini & Dury (2006): 327-337.
Katz, Wendy R. (2006). 'Stevenson, Conrad and the idea of the
gentleman: Long John Silver and Gentleman Brown’. Journal of Stevenson
Studies 3: 51-68. (A version of the paper given at RLS2004 in Edinburgh)
[Stevenson in his essay ‘Gentlemen’ (1888) emphasizes the relative and evolving nature of the elusive term (which the Victorians tried repeatedly to define) and how present social change is causing confusion about correct gentlemanly behaviour. In the past social behaviour was governed by rules, he says, while now we improvise.
Conrad, too, was interested in the term: the sailors actually discuss it in a dialogue in The Nigger of the Narcissus and it is a central theme in Victory and Lord Jim.
The concept of ‘gentleman’ interestingly links Treasure Island (1881) and Lord Jim (1900), in particular the two Jims and their corrupt alter egos, Silver and Gentleman Brown (a ‘latter-day buccaneer’ with ‘a bag of silver’). Both of these false doubles aspire to the title of gentleman, which they hope to attain by their talents of improvisation. The protagonists too are referred to as gentlemen: but Stevenson’s Jim follows the rules and does not jump when encouraged to escape, while Conrad’s Jim does so (yet at the same time is derided by his fellow-deserters as ‘too much of a bloomin’ gentleman’).]
Kucich, John (2006). Imperial Masochism: British Fiction, Fantasy, and Social Class. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
[From the publisher’s presentation: ‘Drawing on recent psychoanalytic theory to define masochism in terms of narcissistic fantasies of omnipotence rather than sexual perversion, the book illuminates how masochism mediates political thought of many different kinds, not simply those that represent the social order as an opposition of mastery and submission, or an eroticized drama of power differentials. Masochism was a powerful psychosocial language that enabled colonial writers to articulate judgments about imperialism and class.’ Ch. 1: ‘Melancholy Magic: Robert Louis Stevenson’s Evangelical Anti-Imperialism’, pp. 31-85. (Masochistic Splitting in the Scottish Novels - Evangelicalism: Pain Is Power - Rewriting Social Class at the Periphery: South Seas Tales - Racial Projections - Anti-Imperialist Euphoria in the Samoan Civil War - The Reversibility of Masochistic Politics).
From the Introduction: ‘Stevenson, Schreiner, Kipling, and Conrad were the writers most instrumental in moving colonialism from the periphery of serious British culture to its center. Together, they constitute a spectrum of ideological strategies revolving around the relationships among masochistic fantasy, class, and imperial politics rather than instances of a single practice. Masochistic fantasy enabled Stevenson to resolve on colonial ground ideological contradictions that were at the heart of his own class identity. It provided both Stevenson and Schreiner with heavily revised middle-class ethical models that they used to bolster controversial anti-imperialist positions.’ Introduction online.]
Katherine (2006). ‘The devil can cite scripture: intertextual hauntings in Strange
Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’. Journal of Stevenson Studies
[Stevenson’s style is notable for elusive allusions, which in JH create ‘a haunting sense of disturbance’ and also a tension of generic interpretation: between ‘Jekyll-compassionating tragedy’ (allusions to Shakespeare’s tragedies and to Oedipus) and ‘Jekyll-damning moral allegory’ (flagged by Biblical allusions). There is a twist in the latter interpretation since it derives mainly from Jekyll’s first-person narrative, and his Biblical allusions, on closer inspection, are ‘self-serving distortions’ or (in a more supernatural horror-story interpretation) suggestions of diabolic Hyde speaking through him. (Though, in another twist, smooth-tongued Jekyll could be equally well the Devil himself.) We are also encouraged to see Jekyll’s Bible-quoting hypocrisy as a reflection of conventional Victorian society as a whole.]
Lucas, Ann Lawson (2006). ‘The Pirate Chief in Salgari, Stevenson, and Calvino’. In Ambrosini & Dury (2006): 338-347.
Malzahn, Manfred (2006). ‘Voices of the Scottish Empire’. In Ambrosini & Dury (2006): 158-168.
Malzahn, Manfred (2006). ‘Richard Ambrosini and Richard Dury, eds. (2006). R.L. Stevenson: Writer of Boundaries. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.’ [Review.] International Journal of Scottish Literature (IJSL) 1 (probably July/August 2006) < http://www.ijsl.stir.ac.uk/
Massie, Eric (2006). ‘Robert Louis Stevenson’. In J. Merriman, J & J. Winter (eds.). Encyclopedia of Modern Europe — Europe 1789 to 1914 - Encyclopedia of the Age of Industry and Empire. 5 vols. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons.
MacLachlan, Chistopher (2006). Robert Louis Stevenson’s Kidnapped, Catriona And Treasure Island. Glasgow: Association for Scottish Literary Studies (Scotnotes).
McCracken-Flesher, Caroline (2006). ‘Burking the Scottish Body: Robert Louis Stevenson and the Resurrection Men’. In Ambrosini & Dury (2006): 133-144.Manguel, Alberto (2006). Nuevo elogio de la locura. Barcelona: Lumen.
Monfregola, Lilli (2006). ‘Il giallo degli inediti di
Stevenson’ [The mystery of Stevenson’s unpublished works]. Il Falcone
Maltese. 3 (8): 23-31.
[The first Italian translation of the two new Fables (see RLS Site Newsletter January and February 2006), here given freely translated titles: ‘The Clockmaker’ is ‘La teoria della stanza’ and ‘The Scientific Ape’ is ‘Esperimento 701’. The introduction (pp. 24-5) presents the mysterious exclusion of the manuscript from the printed edition of Fables as a mystery-story (since this is a magazine of the mystery and detective stories and films). The first fable contains ‘Carrollian paradoxes that call into question all certainties about the divine’ and the second is ‘a satire on colonialism and the idea of a superior race’.]
Naugrette, Jean-Pierre (2006). The Master of Ballantrae, or The Writing of Frost and Stone. In Ambrosini & Dury (2006): 97-108.
Jean-Pierre (translation and postface) (2006). Jardin de poèmes enfantines [A
Child’s Garden of Verses]. Belval, France: Circé.
[In his ‘Postface’ (pp. 152-163) Naugrette says that these verses are a mixture of recreated childhood vision and adult remembrance—a remembrance, however, involving no attempt to establish a past truth but rather an attempt to return to a deforming subjectivity. Here he makes an illuminating parallel with the opening pages of Proust’s Du côté de chez Swann (1913), which also explores the frontier of waking and sleeping. In Stevenson as in Proust there is a contrast, but also a continuity, between the strange night-world and a daytime characterized by rêverie. The horseman of ‘Windy Nights’ reminds us of Goethe’s ‘The Erl-King’. And we can also see an affinity with Rimbaud in the touches of colour (‘blue even’, reminding us of ‘Sensation’, 1870) and in the stark realities suggested by ‘The Dumb Soldier’ (reminding us of the sleeping/dead soldier in the grass of ‘Dormeur du val’, 1870). (Interestingly, Elaine Showalter in the TLS (Jan. 27 1995) praises Naugrette’s translations, saying that the verses ‘sound, in French, startlingly different—sonorous, subtle, triste, almost like Verlaine’.) We can see two dimensions of representation in these poems: (i) the child’s dream of adventure (characterized by substitution, confusion, metaphor), and (ii) the backward gaze of the adult (characterized by detailed annotation and metonomy). Review by Bernard Brugière, Europe 925 (mai 2006): 246-8]
Naugrette, Jean-Pierre (2006). ‘Marcel Schwob auteur de L’île au trésor’
[Marcel Schwob, author of Treasure Island]. Europe 925 (mai
2006) : 168-177.
[This jeu d’esprit presents the affinities of Stevenson and Schwob through a fictional presentation of each as the author of the other’s works (with real bibliographical references given by the endnotes). ‘Schwob’, then, wrote Ile au trésor, translated by Stevenson, which led to a correspondence but also to ‘a kind of osmosis between the two writers’: both were fascinated by François Villon—‘Stevenson’ wrote about him in Spicilège and elsewhere and, of course, ‘Schwob’ wrote ‘A Lodging for the Night’ and an essay on him. Similarly both wrote about Burke and Hare. ‘Stevenson’ wrote four essays on ‘Schwob’, translated his ‘Will du Moulin’ and dedicated Coeur double to him. Both writers developed ‘an art of coloured and changing surface, both sought the authenticating detail, as in Robinson Crusoe, which both admired’. ‘Schwob’ had an important influence on the French novel in the early twentieth century. The piece ends with a re-evocation of a famous 1894 meeting in Honolulu (with allusions to Stevenson taken from Tabucchi and Hesse) between Gide, Kipling, Gosse, Schwob and Stevenson on a ship captained by Conrad in which they write a literary manifesto (a collage of quotations on art with interesting affinities from RLS, Schwob and Wilde).]
Alexander (2006). ‘Interventions: The Boy in Bed: The Scene of reading in N.C.
Wyeth’s Wreck of the “Covenant.” ’. Art
Bulletin 88.i: 7-27. Followed by responses by Eric Rosenberg (27-33),
Rachael Ziady DeLue (33-42), Allan Wallach (42-3), Kathleen Pyne (44-60), and
‘The Author Replies’ (61-8).
[Wyeth’s painting ‘Wreck of the ‘Covenant’, one of fifteen illustrations of Kidnapped, ‘depicts more than Stevenson’s adolescent hero David Balfour watching the ship on which he has been traveling, the Covenant, sink in the distance. It is an eloquent defense of imagination and reading’. Nemerov sees it as a metaphor of a reader in a bedroom contemplating the imaginative world created by the book. The responses in the same journal number deal with Nemerov’s use of art-criticism analysis for popular illustrations and with whether his interpretation goes too far. Stevenson’s essays on the pictorial nature of romance are cited.]
Norquay, Glenda (2006). ‘Trading Texts: Negotiations of the Professional and the Popular in the Case of Treasure Island’. In Ambrosini & Dury (2006): 60-69.
Ormsby, Eric (2006). ‘A
Terrible, Joyous & Noble Universe’. The New York Sun Feb. 8 2006.
[A newspaper critic discusses Weir of Hermiston: ‘Sentence for sentence, Weir of Hermiston constitutes one of the greatest narratives in the language.’ online.]
Parfect, Ralph (2006). ‘Violence in the South Seas: Stevenson, the Eye, and Desire’. In Ambrosini & Dury (2006): 190-198.
Parfect, Ralph (2006). ‘ “God Bless My
Tail!” Two Unknown Fables by Robert Louis Stevenson’. TLS 20.1.06: ***.
[See Parfect 2005.]
(2006). ‘Robert Louis Stevenson und die Ambivalenz des Abenteurers’ [Robert
Louis Stevenson and the Ambivalence of the Adventurer]. Anglistik:
Mitteilungen des Deutschen Anglistenverbandes 17i: 27-38.
[‘Petzold claims that the notion of adventure is a focus of contradictory impulses for Stevenson: the yearning for adventure on the one hand, and the distaste for real adventurers on the other. In his early travel writings the author betrays a histrionic tendency to act the vagrant and vagabond, while preserving an ironic distance from his own persona. In later writings such as The Ebb-Tide, the attraction of the adventure has receded, and the reality of adventurers appears as being one of losers, failures, or amoral egotists. Stevenson’s typical adventurer, Petzold concludes, reveals himself as “an incarnation of human hubris and greed, the true impulses of colonialism”’. (Manfred Malzahn)]
(Review: Malzahn, Manfred (2006). ‘Occasional Paper: Recent German-language RLS Criticism’. International Journal of Scottish Literature 1 (Autumn 2006).
For Petzold the notion of adventure (the single-minded and free-ranging pursuit of self-interest regardless of the consequences for oneself and for others) is a constant focus of both attraction and revulsion for Stevenson. ‘[A] sound and noteworthy addition to Stevenson scholarship’ which prompts a new question: if Stevenson ended up ‘disillusioned with colonial adventure’, was this because he had abandoned ‘rebellious and bohemian leanings in favour of bourgeois values’, or because he was rebelling against ‘the bourgeois reality from which the colonial venture emanated’?]
Rago, Jane V. (2006). ‘Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: A “Men’s Narrative” of Hysteria and Containment’. In Ambrosini & Dury (2006): 275-285.
Reed, Thomas L., Jr. (2006).The Transforming Draught: Jekyll and Hyde, Robert Louis Stevenson and the
Victorian Alcohol Debate. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland.
[Reviews: Julia Reid. Robert Louis Stevenson, Science, and the Fin de Siècle. The Review of English Studies 58 (235): 422-424; Anne Schwan (2008). Journal of StevensonStudies 5: 135-7.]
[Explores the manifold ways in which ‘the cloud of alcohol shadows Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde as thoroughly as it did its author’. In the first three chapters the author reveals the text’s ‘prime concern with addictive behaviour’ as well as its multiple references, both literal and figurative, to drink and its abuses. The next three delineate the sociological and literary contexts of Stevenson’s writing about alcohol, in J&H and elsewhere, as well as concluding (plausibly), from his history, that RLS himself appears to have been a ‘borderline alcoholic’ who could identify only too closely with the downfall and death from drink of his friend, Walter Ferrier. Another three chapters are devoted to finding temperance imagery in the story’s ‘dream scenes’, as well as relevant topical references to street crime and patterns of working-class recreation. Finally, Reed suggests that contemporary readers were more likely than later ones to read J&H as ‘about alcohol’, and concludes that in his story Stevenson ultimately advocated the ‘balanced approach’ to drink that he strove to achieve in his life. Although this book offers more information on British socio-political history than most Stevenson scholars might want, and has the limitation of seeing the story almost exclusively through the single lens of alcohol, it makes a valuable and highly suggestive contribution to the ever-expanding field of J&H studies. (Hilary Beattie)]
Reid, Julia (2006). Robert Louis
Stevenson, Science, and the Fin de Siècle. London : Palgrave Macmillan.
[In the first book about Stevenson’s engagement with late-Victorian evolutionary science, Julia Reid argues that a fascination with ‘primitive’ life lies at the heart of his work. Offering original readings of a wide range of his writings and drawing on previously unpublished archival material, Reid demonstrates that Stevenson engaged critically with evolutionary science. The book provides a new way of understanding the relationship between Stevenson’s Scottish and Polynesian work, and shows that ambivalence towards evolutionary psychology and anthropology unites his generically diverse oeuvre. Reid reveals that his writings unsettled evolutionist assumptions about progress, and celebrated the enduring heritage of ‘primitive’ instincts in modern ‘civilization’.
Part One, ‘Romance and Evolutionary Psychology’, investigates how Stevenson engaged critically with evolutionary psychology, unsettling its confident narrative of evolutionary advance. It shows how in his romance polemics and other essays and in adventure fiction from Treasure Island to The Ebb-Tide Stevenson explores and revalues resurgent states of primitive consciousness.
Part Two, ‘Degeneration and Psychology’, reveals how Stevenson’s work deals ambivalently with contemporary theories of atavism. It examines the letters, memoirs, and essays in which Stevenson considered his own nervous morbidity, and his neo-Gothic fiction including ‘The Merry Men’, ‘Olalla’, ‘Markheim’, and Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. In both cases, it argues, Stevenson’s writings illuminate contemporary scientific discourse, exposing the tensions between biological and environmental explanations which lay at the heart of degeneration theory.
Part Three, ‘Stevenson as Anthropologist’, turns from Stevenson’s engagement with individual psychology to his interest in anthropology’s broader evolutionary narrative, and traces the development from his early Scottish fiction to his final South Seas work. Critical readings of works including Kidnapped and The Master of Ballantrae explore Stevenson’s gathering scepticism about an evolutionary narrative of progress towards civilization and about the possibility of an objective ethnography. The final chapter argues that Stevenson’s Pacific experiences intensified his perception of the savagery lurking at the heart of so-called civilization, and shows how the interest in cultural relativism evident in ‘The Beach of Falesa’ and In the South Seas informs his final Scottish fiction including Catriona and Weir of Hermiston.
Suggesting that Stevenson radically questioned contemporary notions of ‘savage’ life, this interdisciplinary study illuminates the complex traffic of ideas between late-Victorian literature and science.]
[Reviews: Thomas L. Reed Jr. The Review of English Studies 58 (235): 420-422; Linda Dryden (2007). Journal of Stevenson Studies 4: 270-75.]
Reid, Julia (2006). ‘Stevenson, Romance, and Evolutionary Psychology’. In Ambrosini & Dury (2006): 215-227.
Rizzo, Sara (2006). ‘“A scroll of lighted
pictures”: La traduzione a fumetti di Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, 1943-2002’
[…The comicbook translations of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde: 1943-2002]. Laurea
(M.A.) dissertation at the Università Statale di Milano, December 2006.
[Chapter 1 is dedicated to the first stage adaptation of JH and the three classic Hollywood versions of 1920, 1931 and 1941, since it was these dramatized versons that created the most important independent evolution of the JH story (in particular the introduction of the fiancée and the mistress and a simplification of Jekyll and Hyde into an opposition of Good and Evil), that then influenced the early comicbook adaptations. Chapters 2 and 3 are dedicated respectively to American and Italian comicbook versions of Stevenson’s story, in a presentation with a double thread: the interesting story of the choices and influences of the adapters and artists and, in the background, the story of the comic book and graphic novel in the second half of the twentieth century and the way it has developed into a legitimate art-form in its own right, developing its own language and artistic styles. Comicbook adapters have liberated themselves from the cinematic tradition and have returned to the ambiguity and indeterminacy of the original text.]
Sandison, Alan (2006). ‘Masters of the Hovering Life: Robert Musil and R. L. Stevenson’. In Ambrosini & Dury (2006): 315-326.
Sborgi, Ilaria B. (2006). ‘Stevenson’s Unfinished Autopsy of the Other’. In Ambrosini & Dury (2006): 145-157.
(2006). The narcissism of empire: loss, rage, and revenge in Thomas De
Quincey, Robert Louis Stevenson, Arthur Conan Doyle, Rudyard Kipling and Isak Dinesen. Brighton: Sussex Academic Press.
[The book is about the emotional inner world of the western imperialist, ‘the connection between childhood loss and the desire for imperial escape, power and dominance’. Ch. 3: ‘Robert Louis Stevenson and Imperial Escape’ discusses Stevenson’s romances and the way they are credited with ‘selling’ the idea of empire as manly adventure.
Writing out of a childhood that joined an obsession with spiritual and physical weakness to a profound desire for magical escape, Robert Louis Stevenson concocted the literary adventure romance, a genre that would become a chief tool in creating what John MacKenzie calls “an energizing myth of Empire”. Writers with a more pronounced imperial agenda than Stevenson’s, in particular H. Ryder Haggard and Arthur Conan Doyle, took him as a model. With his first romance, Treasure Island, Stevenson signaled the shift to what Conan Doyle would call the “modern masculine novel,” challenging the dominance of the “woman’s” novel associated with George Eliot, replacing “inheritance, marriage and death” with danger, adventure and male camaraderie in exotic settings.
‘Stevenson’s work had such an impact in part because he drew upon his literary background and upper middle-class connections to press into higher service the vigor and gore of the popular new genre of “penny dreadfuls.” Not only could Stevenson lend class to the adventure novel, but he was also psychologically suited for the task of bringing the excitement of the penny dreadfuls into the main stream; his background of morbid religiosity and physical constraint which he countered with dreams of escape seems to have rendered him especially nimble in managing the moral contradictions inherent in both the “manly” adventure story and in many imperial activities. While other authors stumbled over how to link “good” English boys to the acts of violence and treachery sometimes required of one in exotic locales, good and evil co-exist peaceably in Stevenson’s early work.’ (Diane Simmons)]
Stiles, Anne (2006). ‘Robert Louis Stevenson’s Jekyll and Hyde
and the Double Brain’. Studies in English Literature 1500-1900 46iv
(Autumn 2006): 879-900.
[JH may have been influenced by French case-studies of 1874 and 1876, discussed by Richard Proctor in two articles (in 1875 and 1877) in the Cornhill Magazine (to which S contributed regularly 1874-82), where double personality is linked to the bilateral brain asymmetry.
Ideas that over-use of one side of the brain brought greater blood flow and hence greater development seem to be reflected in the way that Jekyll’s ‘evil side’ had been ‘much less exercised’ and therefore produced a smaller and weaker Hyde. The painful transformation and the less-controlled second state of the subjects in the two French cases also has similarities with S’s tale. Stiles sees these cases as close models for JH and sees right/left brain distinctions as mapping onto the relationship of Jekyll and Hyde (and onto the structure of the narrative itself); certainly S’s correspondent Myers wanted S to change to change details so that the tale would conform more to closely to theories of bilateral brain functions and to behaviour of subjects in case-studies.
S had already questioned the presumed truth of objective narrative and had underlined the similarity of fictional and non-fictional narrative in his essays; in JH, by imitating the case study within a Gothic romance, he implicitly criticizes the limitations of scientific prose and abolishes objective distance from the discourse of the doctor-narrator. By making the male doctor also the pschiatric patient (at a time when hysteria and madness were seen as typical feminine) he calls into question the sexual hierarchy and power structures of the medical profession. Stiles also sees Jekyll’s subjective investigattion of his psychological condition as an anticipation of Freud.]
Swearingen, Roger (2006). ‘Recent Studies
in Robert Louis Stevenson: Letters, Reference Works, Texts--1970-2005.’ Dickens
Studies Annual 37 (Oct. 2006).
[devoted to editions of Stevenson’s writings and reference works: - Letters (by Stevenson; new letters; by others to Stevenson) (345-53) - Texts by Stevenson (Editions, Collections of shorter works, plus Books and Articles on textual matters) (362-436) - Reference Works (353-62) - Exhibition Catalogues (436-38). For Part II (Biography and Criticism), see Swearingen (2007). The two parts should also be published later in book form.]
John (2006). The Colony: The Harrowing True Story of the Exiles of Molokai.
New York: Scribner Book Company
[Stevenson spent a week at the Molokai leper colony in 1889 shortly after the death of Father Damien]
Turnbull, Olena M. (2006). ‘Robert Louis Stevenson and Nineteenth-Century Theories of Evolution: Crossing the Boundaries between Ideas and Art’. In Ambrosini & Dury (2006): 228-236.
Vanon Alliata, Michela (2006). ‘“Markheim” and the Shadow of the Other’. In Ambrosini & Dury (2006): 299-311.
Villa, Luisa (2006). ‘Quarreling with the Father’. In Ambrosini & Dury (2006): 109-120.
Walker, Richard J. (2006). ‘Pious Works: Aesthetics, Ethics, and the Modern Individual in Robert Louis Stevenson’s Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’. In Ambrosini & Dury (2006): 265-274.
Philip (2006). Writers, Readers and Reputations Literary Life in Britain 1870–1918. Oxford University Press.
[Robert Louis Stevenson earned £465 in 1883, when Treasure Island was published in book form. Four years later, after the appearance of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and Kidnapped, he was bringing in more than £4,000 a year. (TLS review Aug. 30 2006.]
Yue, Isaac (2006). ‘Metaphors and
discourse of the late-Victorian divided self: the cultural implications of Strange
Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and its Chinese translations’. Journal
of Stevenson Studies 3: 33-50.
[Chinese translators of JH do not only have problems with the impossibility of translating its culturally-specific allusions, but also with the pervasive ‘metaphorical tone’ (which encourages interpretation in terms of a crisis of cultural identity). For example, the juxtaposed adjectives of ‘a wild, cold night’ echo the theme of opposed instinct and repression, yet most Chinese translations omit the word ‘wild’. The contrasting doors at the beginning of the text at first seem to represent a conventionally clear distinction between Good and Evil—yet (besides belonging to the same house) each is associated with a subtle mixture of positive and negative traits, and again these sometimes elude the translator. The front door, for example is presented as ‘plunged in darkness’, a suspiciously negative connotation not picked up by most Chinese translations.]
William. ‘The Nineteenth century: The Victorian Period. 2. The Novel’. Year’s
Work in English Studies 84.i (2005): 705.
[Baker’s survey for 2003 (published 2005) puts Stevenson in a paragraph with other writers, and includes only: (i) Jason Marc Harris, ‘Robert Louis Stevenson: Folklore and Imperialism’ (ELT 46:iv); and (ii) Katherine Linehan’s ‘Two Unpublished Letters’ (N&Q 248:iii). He also says that ‘Falesá’ is included in Fictions of Empire (ed. Kucich). Elsewhere he mentions Colley’s ‘Stevenson’s Pyjamas’ (from 2002). (In contrast, the website bibliography has over 50 items for 2003.)]
Beattie, Hilary J. (2005). ‘Dreaming, doubling and gender in the work of Robert Louis Stevenson:
The strange case of “Olalla”’. Journal of Stevenson Studies 2: 10-32.
[Stevenson saw ‘Olalla’ as ‘false’ probably because it fails to satisfactorily resolve inner conflicts (sexuality, doubling and gender ambiguity) that he struggled with in many of his works and in his life. The nightmare (described in ‘A Chapter on Dreams’) of an uncanny ‘brown, curly dog’ seen with terror from a window of a dusty hill-farm has affinities with the isolated setting of ‘Olalla’, and with the scene where Jekyll looks down to the court at ‘dusty’ Utterson from the window of his lonely cabinet. In ‘Olalla’ the doubles are, unusually, women and of different generations, a situation that has later affinities with Stevenson’s life in Samoa (when his affections seem to have been the object of rivalry between the dark-skinned Fanny and Belle), and with his last work, Weir of Hermiston, where we find the same strong women doubled across generations, the same ‘injured’ hero and the same isolated farm. Weir, ending abruptly at the same point as ‘Olalla’, suggests that the latent ‘dream thoughts’ that inspired Jekyll and ‘Olalla’ were being worked over right up to the end.]
Ciompi, Fausto (2005). ‘Dividum est effabile. Dialogue and Subjectivity in Stevenson’s
Markheim’. Rivista di Studi Vittoriani 20 [special Stevenson
[‘Markheim’ is a moral fable that at the same time has a world-view of multiplicity and uncertainty. The Double itself is doubled—protagonist’s alter ago, bad angel debating with good angel, devil unintentionally doing good or disguised angel. This instability is part of a general indeterminacy of real vs imaginary and good vs evil, also reflected in perceptual distortions (changing shadows, multiplying reflections, a crescendo of sounds from within and without).
In the second half of the story M ‘goes upstairs to his mind’ to meet the nameless creature, polite and casuistic (like the devil) and engages in a verbal duel (for which Ciompi gives a rhetorical analysis). The conclusion (M’s affirmation of his ability to rationally reject evil), though reassuring and conventional, is partly undermined by the presentation of human consciousness as instable and uncertain.]
Clayson, Sara (2005). ‘“Steadfast and securely on his upward path”: Dr Jekyll’s spiritualist
experiment’. Journal of Stevenson Studies: 51-69.
[Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde can profitably be seen in the context of 19th-century Spiritualism. Jekyll’s ‘transcendental’ medicine is opposed to material science and Jekyll acts as the medium for his own spirit: the materialized spirit was often referred to as the medium’s ‘double’; it was different in appearance yet kept traces of its begetter, and was often transgressive in its acts and words. Like Jekyll after the transformation, the medium was left exhausted. Spiritualism also reacted against Darwinism by looking forward to spiritualized human perfection and to life after death; this has affinities with Jekyll’s attempt to improve himself by removing his lower element. However, Hyde gets stronger and competes with Jekyll, weaving together the two ideas of degeneration and evolutionary progress.]
D’Amato, Barbara (2005). ‘Jekyll and
Hyde: A Literary Forerunner to Freud’s Discovery of the Unconscious’. Modern
Psychoanalysis 30.i: 92-106.
[Stevenson’s works provide ‘an uncanny resonance’ with Freud’s theories. D’Amato gives various psycho-analytic interpretations of Stevenson’s repeated dream narrated in ‘A Chapter on Dreams’. In JH, Stevenson suggests that sexual and aggressive urges are unconsciously present in all of us (even the respectable doctor) and come from inside (not from an external devil). Written in fluent American (Utterson ‘cannot stop obsessing about the hideous man’).]
Di Piazza, Elio
Quest for Values: Traditional Sources in Two Late Nineteenth-Century Novels of
Adventure’. Critical Studies 25: ***
[The two novels under consideration are Haggard’s King Solomon’s Mines and Stevenson’s Treasure Island.]
(2005). ‘Strange language of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’. Journal of
Stevenson Studies 2: 33-50.
[Stevenson’s variation of prepositions and articles and idioms gives the reader the philological pleasure of interpreting a strange but perfectly understandable text. His unusual use of single ‘lexical words’ adds another pleasure: participation in the creation of meaning. Stevenson, rebelling against language fixed by authority, creates new meaning freely and poetically through context. In JH the creation of meaning, however, is often deliberately impeded, creating the ambiguous or opaque language that gives the disoriented reader moving through the text an experience similar to that of Utterson as he tries to interpret and understand events in the story.]
Ebbatson, Roger (2005). ‘Stevenson’s
The Ebb-Tide: Missionary Endeavour in the Islands of Light’. In Andrew
Dix & Jonathan Taylor (eds). Figures of Heresy: Radical Theology in
English and American Writing, 1800–2000. Sussex Academic Press.
[The Ebb-Tide may be read as a symptomatic text of the fin de siècle, dealing as it does with a sense of decline and apocalypse. The three beachcombers figure as degenerate versions of imperial romance, their language, both written and spoken, reflecting loss of authority and the enfranchisement of underclass barbarity, focused in the Cockney Huish. Opposed to this feckless group stands the lawless lawgiver, Attwater, whose homiletic religious rhetoric is critiqued by the narrative. Attwater’s overweening evangelism verges upon the genocidal in relation to the native population, and the text is furrowed by traces of heretical misreadings, as in the transmutation of wine into water and the ‘crucifixion’ of the rebels against the ship’s figurehead. The ‘gleaming light’ of Christian mission is transformed into a fantasmatic brilliance which imbues the text with a margin of modernist undecidability.]
Bridget (2005). The MacDowell Colony: A Musical History of America's Premier
Artists' Community. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press. 0-8108-5419-8. $55.
467 pp. Publication US July, UK October.
[Information on musical settings of S’s works produced in the MacDowell artsists’ colony: tirteen index entries for RLS and six of his works are included in the select Bibliography.]
Fano, Vincenzo (2005). ‘Stevenson, Aristotele e la poetica
delle circostanze’ [Stevenson, Aristotle and the poetics of circumstance].
[Five different possible interpretations of Stevenson’s Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde are presented: the Faustian, the Freudian, the Darwinian, the Biblical and the chemical one. A more accurate analysis shows that none of them exhausts the meaning of the novel. Then, some theoretical considerations based on Stevenson’s poetical essays are discussed. The latter provide useful concepts related to Aristotle’s Poetics.]
Farr, Liz (2005).
‘Surpassing the love of women: Robert Louis Stevenson and the pleasures of
boy-loving’. Journal of Stevenson Studies 2: 140-160.
[Stevenson’s enthusiasm for the adolescent Lloyd and his pleasure in watching children should not be automatically read in a sexual way, bearing mind the multiple nature of relationships and cultural changes. (i) His two essays on chidren’s play see early childhood as a lost period of spontaneity, amorality, absorbed aestheticism and hedonism; the adult attempts to heal a fissured child-adult identity through art, but the young child is distantly placed in a feminized domestic space (house or garden). (ii) Consolatory regression to the older boy (whose imaginative life is explored in ‘The Lantern Bearers’) allows a closer achievement of coherence: the boy resists social conventions, has broken out of feminizing domestic spaces and is not yet concerning in productive activity. For Stevenson, play leads to aesthetic development (as Schiller had theorized) but it is also a kind of ‘immature consolation’, ‘a retreat from a fragmented world’.]
Fergus, David (2005). ‘A Major Minor Poet?’. Textualities 4.
[Memorable poems from Underswoods are ‘The House Beautiful’ and ‘Requiem’. Borges, in a conversation with Graham Greene, said the latter was Stevenson’s finest poem. For Greene, the best was XXXVIII (‘Say not that weakly I declined’). Scots poems in the same collection worthy of note are the humorous ‘A Lowden Sabbath Morn’ and ‘The Scotsman’s Return from Abroad’.
Of the Ballads, Fergus mentions ‘Christmas at Sea’ with its moving last lines. In the posthumous Songs of Travel there are a series of interesting poems of exile: ‘To My Old Familiars’. ‘The Tropics Vanish’ and the poignant ‘To S.R. Crockett; also the heartfelt portrait of his dying father (‘The Last Sight’). The other posthumously-published poems (badly edited by George S. Hellman, but treated with exemplary scholarship by Janet Adam Smith) also contain many interesting pieces in all his styles. Fergus concludes that it is time for Stevenson to be acknowledged as ‘a major minor poet’.]
Fusini, Nadia (2005). ‘Caccia al tesoro’. La Repubblica 15.8.05: 38.
[page-long newspaper article.]
Gray, William (2005). ‘A Source for the Trampling Scene in Jekyll and Hyde’. Notes
and Queries 52iv: 493-4.
[Suggests that a scene of a little beggar-girl being trampled by wooden monsters in George MacDonald’s Phantastes (1858), which RLS refers to in his letters, may have influenced the trampling scene in JH. (See also Gray, William (2005) 108n. Also Gray (2004b).]
(2005). ‘The incomplete fairy tales of Robert Louis Stevenson’. Journal of
Stevenson Studies 2: 98-109.
[Island Nights’ Entertainments (1893) was originally intended as ‘a volume of Märchen’, but Colvin’s inclusion of ‘Falesá’, changed its character, because literary fairy tales (close to modern fantasy literature) mix real world and an intrusive magical other world, while ‘Falesá’ was a longer realistic tale. The third candidate for the volume of Märchen, ‘The Waif Woman’ (1916), was rejected by Fanny as too close to the translation of the Icelandic saga by Morris and Magnússon, but probably because of the unsympathetic portrait of the wife who dies. ‘The Song of the Morrow’ (now in the Fables) may have been written with the same volume in mind. The paper also mentions a possible influence of George Macdonald’s Phantastes on JH; and influence of Stevenson’s fairy tales on C.S.Lewis and Terry Brooks.]
Erika (2005). ‘Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Robert Louis Stevenson – Rouben
Mamoulian – Victor Fleming – Jean Renoir – David Wickes): Filmische
Doppelgänger’. A. Bohnenkamp & T. Lang (eds.) (2004). Literaturverfilmungen.
Stuttgart: Reclam, 115-135.
[Abridged and slightly simplified version of Greber 2004.]
(2005). ‘The commercial world of The Wrecker’. Journal of Stevneson
Studies 2: 70-98.
[This paper examines the 19>th-century economic realities that are brought into The Wrecker: Both protagonists (Dodd and Carthew) start as aspiring artists and get involved in a variety of commercial ventures, yet betrayed art and unscrupulous commerce are part of a story of friendship and loyalty. The novel gives us a good picture of barbaric and immoral Victorian commerce.]
Jolly, Roslyn (2005). ‘Light work—RLS, the family business and the guilt of the
writer’. TLS (Jan. 28 2005): 14-15.
[The more literary success RLS achieved, the more this seemed unmerited in the light of the achievements of his family of lighthouse builders. The anxiety about being a paid artist can be seen in poems, letters and essays of the mid-1880s.
Factors in this anxiety seem to have been the Protestant work ethic (the distrust of being a mere artist) and a desire to offer public service and leave a physical mark on the world and to travel and survive far from cities like his ancestors. Even when, in his last years, he combined writing with physical activity, he saw himself as only a weak continuer of the family tradition.
S was also attracted by the vagrant Fergusson (thinking of dedicating the Edinburgh Edition to his memory)—aware perhaps that he himself avoided Fergusson’s sad end only because of lighthouse money. So lighthouse building allowed S to write, yet also impeded him, by providing him with an impossible ideal to match: he lived ‘in the light, and shadow, of the sea-towers’.]
Kramer, Jürgen (2005). ‘Unity in difference : A comparative reading of Robert Louis
Stevenson’s “The Beach of Falesá” and Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness’.
Journal of Stevenson Studies 2: 110-139.
[Both Stevenson and Conrad had the experience of being both colonial and colonialist and both explore the experience of exile, Empire and the exotic, in romances of adventure that also question the presuppositions of the genre. Their fictions should be seen as complementary, not competing efforts. Both HoD and ‘Falesá’ question Imperial ideology, in narratives by (not totally reliable) white males who make geographical and personal discoveries, and confront an alter ego (Case and Kurtz, both eloquent multi-national, ruthless colonizers). One difference is that Marlowe (whose African experience is dominated by unease and fear) keeps the Africans (especially Kurtz’s African mistress) at a distance, while Wiltshire crosses the boundaries of 19th century morality by falling in love and marrying a non-European woman. Both narratives also end with a lack of resolution of the dysfunctional colonial situation: Marlowe lies to Kurz’s ‘intended’ about his last words partly to keep women in their socially restricted position, while the last paragraph of ‘Falesá’ shows that the basic colonial situation continues. Comparing the texts allow us to read Wiltshire’s falling on the mouth of the dead Case against the dying Kurtz opening his mouth wide as if he wanted to swallow everything: the true cannibals are the competing traders.]
McDonald, Neil (2005). ‘Four Faces
of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’. Quadrant
[Hollywood film adaptations of JH.]
Barry (2005). Narrating
Scotland: The Imagination Of Robert Louis Stevenson. Columbia, SC: University of South
Carolina Press. 1 February 2005.
[http://www.sc.edu/uscpress/ > New Titles > Menikoff: for publisher’s presentation, a preview of Chapter 1 (‘Narrating Scotland’) and a picture of the cover (a previously unpublished portrait of RLS by Joe Strong, based on a photograph). From the publisher’s presentation: ‘Narrating Scotland traces the Scottish writer's weaving together of source material from memoirs, letters, histories, and records of trials. Menikoff uncovers the documentary basis for reading Kidnapped and David Balfour as political allegories and reveals the skill with which Stevenson offered a narrative that British colonizers could enjoy without being offended by its underlying condemnation. Menikoff shows that Stevenson's experiments in fiction, which would anticipate such works as Truman Capote's In Cold Blood, successfully inscribed his country's loss of indigenous culture upon an epic narrative that for more than a century has masqueraded as a common adventure story.’]
[Reviews: Irvine, Robert P. (2006). Review of Scottish Culture 8: 185-6. Calder, Jenni (2006). Scottish Studies Review 7.i: 124-125. Niederhoff (2005).Literatur in Wissenschaft und Unterricht 38.iv: 325-6 (‘The merits of Menikiff’s book lie in its detailed tracing of Stevenson’s sources, not in its theorising’).]
Kobetts (2005). Recent
Interpretations of Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Why and How This Novel Continues to Affect Us.
Lewiston, NY: The Edwin Mellen Press.
[‘In this work, the author analyzes the original story, provides a useful survey of many of the adaptations, then focuses on three of the most interesting adaptations [Emma Tennent’s Two Women of London (1989), Valerie Martins’ Mary Reilly (1990) and David Edgar’s stage adaptation (1992)] ... Besides contributing her own fresh insights about both the original story and its many adaptations, the author also provides transcripts of the interviews that she conducted with Tennant, Martin and Edgar, who reflect on the choices they made in reinterpreting Stevenson’s classic tale of human duality. This is a worthy addition not just to the growing list of critical studies of Stevenson and his most famous story, but also to studies of modern adaptations and retellings of classic novels.’ (Patrick Brantlinger)]
Nash, Andrew (2005). ‘Walter Besant’s All
Sorts and Conditions of Men and Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange
Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’. Notes and Queries 52iv:494-497.
[In the description of Dr Jekyll’s square, Stevenson uses the phrase ‘all sorts and conditions of men’, an allusion to Walter Besant’s novel (1882), which he had read and admired and which can be seen as providing some inspiration for Stevenson’s presentation of London in the 1880s. ‘Besant’s novel deals explicitly with the idea of the double-nature of London in the late nineteenth century’ (495) and focusses on ‘the public ignorance of the social conditions of the poor in East London’ (496), an area which he describes as an ‘immense forgotten great city’. References in JH and the manuscript ‘suggest that Stevenson might have been thinking of Jekyll’s house as being on the east side of the city’ (497); several scenes take place in ‘hidden’ areas of the city; and the heterogeneous tenants of Jekyll’s square may echo the range of occupations in Besant’s Stepney Green boarding house (496).]
Naugrette, Jean-Pierre (2005). ‘La ville
et ses doubles : Stevenson, Schnitzler, Kubrick’. Ramadier, Bernard-Jean
(dir.) (2005). La ville et ses représentations. Villes de pierres, de toile
et de papier. Lyon: Publications de l'Université Jean Moulin Lyon 3. 121-147.
[Representation of the city as metaphor in Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Arthur Schnitzler’s Traumnovelle (1925), and Kubrick’s film Eyes Wide Shut (1999). All three works create a dreamlike, symbolic space: Stevenson’s settings are streets and districts without a name, metaphorically equivalent to a field or forest and also to the an individual personality and to language itself. Schnitzler’s night-time Vienna is also a confusing labyrinth of darkness and repeated lights where a doctor wanders, leading a double life, fascinated by his own transformed image in a mirror. In both stories we find series of doublings and unsettling repetitions. Interestingly, reviewers of Kubrick’s adaptation of Schnitzler’s story have several times compared its doctor protagonist to Dr Jekyll. Kubrick’s hyper-realist but false New York ‘exteriors’ create an additional unsettling doubling as do his references and allusions to other films.]
Niederhoff, Burkhard (2005). ‘Robert
Louis Stevenson’s Arrival on the Academic Scene: A Survey of Recent Studies’. Literatur in Wissenschaft und Unterricht 38.4 (2005): 319-37.
[S has always been popular with readers and biographers but has been dismissed by professors of English literature, perhaps because they perceived him as a writer of escapist romances or a preacher of Victorian optimism, or just as reaction to the attention given to his life. But ‘the critical tide now seems to be moving in favour of Stevenson and a serious critical study of his works’. There follow careful reviews of Abi-Ezzi 2003, Dryden 2003, Linehan (ed.) 2003, Colley 2004, Gray 2004, Danahay & Chisholm 2005, Harman 2005, Menikoff 2005, and the 28 articles in JSS 1 (2004) and Jones (2003).
Niederhoff concludes that the recent growth of interest in Stevenson’s works may have some connection with ‘cultural studies’, which sees a value in all sorts of texts and so overcomes the barrier to S perceived by ‘many a high-minded scholar’. ‘The relaxed way in which Ambosini, Norquay and Arata deal with S’s defence of popular literature contrasts vividly with the way in which he was attacked as an evasive and escapist writer by Andrew Noble and Peter Gilmore some twenty years ago. Stevenson scholars no longer write in the mode of accusation or in the mode of apology, and this indicates—even better than the mere quantity of publications—that Stevenson has finally and fully arrived on the academic scene.’]
Noiville, Florence (2005). ‘Stevenson un
trésor pour tous’. Le Monde (15 juillet 2005), Livres d’été : I.
[A long article (reviewing some recent French translations) on the front page of the ‘Livres d’été’ supplement.]
Normand, Tom (2005). ‘Alvin Langdon
Coburn, Robert Louis Stevenson and Edinburgh’. History of Photography
[Coburn's nostalgic and romantic photographs of Edinburgh were taken in 1905 and used to illustrate a 1954 edition of Edinburgh. Picturesque Notes.]
Parfect, Ralph (2005). ‘Robert
Louis Stevenson’s “The Clockmaker” and “The Scientific Ape”: Two Unpublished
Fables’. English Literature in Transition 48iv: 387–403.
[Two very interesting fables, apparently the only survivors of a fair copy and the only Fables manuscripts extant. They seem to have been deliberately omitted from the 1895 publication by Colvin, perhaps because of their irreverent and sceptical tone. Parfect dates them to the period 1875-1889 and suggests that (on account of the teasing humour) ‘The Scientific Ape’ (and perhaps both) date from the mid-1880s (p. 394). They were first published in French translation by Pierre-Alain Gendre in 1985 (Paris: Corti), but this is the first publication in English.
In their presentation of unresolved paradoxes they have the modern characteristic of many of the other Fables. In both of them, Stevenson also ‘playfully parodies scientific and philosophical discourse’ (393-4). ‘The Clockmaker’ ‘is an amusingly cynical satire, in which an age of scientific, religious and philosophical discussion among a community of microbes is negated at a stroke’ (391); it is ‘perhaps one of Stevenson’s broadest assaults on the confidence of the Western intellectual tradition’ (392).
‘The Scientific Ape’, is mainly a debate among West Indian apes in the face of a local Western scientist who is capturing members of the community for vivisectionist experiments and after one of them captures the scientist’s baby for similar experimentation. The baby is finally returned unharmed to the relieved parent, who then continues his experiments. Here, the attack on ethically-dubious science is linked to an anti-imperialist stance.
Certainly the most interesting previously-unpublished Stevensonian texts to have been published in the last few years.]
Phillips, Lawrence, (2005). ‘Robert Louis Stevenson: Class and ‘Race’ in The Amateur
Emigrant’. Race & Class 46iii (January-March 2005): 39-54.
[In 1879 Stevenson travelled from Scotland to California in conditions almost identical to those of the working-class and poverty-stricken emigrants. His account,The Amateur Emigrant, shocked the class sensibilities of his family and friends, and was not published in full in his lifetime. The experience had a profound effect on his personal sensibilities; his consciousness of his ambivalent position as a middle-class writer in the midst of his working-class contemporaries renders The Amateur Emigrant a remarkable revelation of the intermingled complexities of class, ‘race’ and gender in late Victorian England.]
Roth, Marty (2005).
Drunk the Night Before. An Anatomy of Intoxication.
University of Minnesota Press.
[The history of alcohol as potion, poison and creative catalyst in Western cultural history. In Chapter 5 Roith analyses Bram Stoker's Dracula and Robert Louis Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, both presented as fictions that revolve around magical and transformative drinks.]
Verdonk, Joris (2005). ‘ “The
Coral Waxes, the Palm Tree Grows, but Man departs”: The South Sea Novellas of
Robert Louis Stevenson’. M.A. (Master in Literatturweschappen) dissertation
from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium.
[Stevenson was notably lacking in racial prejudice, though he did occasionally equate the Polynesians with children. As an idealist of primitive states he was naturally disillusioned by the South Seas and the effects of colonialism. This process is reflected in the two South Seas novellas. In ‘Falesá’ he still clings to the myth of the noble savage, but overturns the expectations of the colonial adventure (no return home and abandonment of island love). He marks a moral advance in the main character, yet at the same time attacks the manipulative discourse of imperialism and adds a problematic closure. In The Ebb-Tide he abandons any hope of reciprocal harmony of kanakas and colonials, dispenses with a hero and makes corruptive colonial discourses the centre of his criticism.]
Ambrosini, Richard (2004). ‘R.L.
Stevenson and the Ethical Value of Writing for the Market’. Journal of
Stevenson Studies 1: 24-41.
[S the early essayist showed an interest in a narrative with a universal foundation. The first journey to America was a watershed in his thinking and his relationship with the labouring masses and was followed by a desire for more “realism” and by his experiments with popular genres. These narratives were provocative challenges to the emerging literary hierarchy and can be seen as part of a parallel tradition to the élitist high-literature tradition]
André, Elie (2004). ‘Beyond Adventure: Initiatory Journeys in R.L. Stevenson’s Work’.
Dissertation for the Diplôme d'Etudes Approfondies at the University of Caen. Available
in Caen University Library, The British Library and the National Library of
[Some critics have seen Kidnapped as loosely structured (much is ‘irrelevant and tedious’, Daiches 1947), but André sees the work as carefully structured. The narrative can be seen as a progression of trials in part echoing Pilgrim’s Progrss and in many ways reflecting the typical moments of an initiation: loss of consciousness, changes of clothes, experiences in caverns and labyriths etc. all make the text highly symbolic. André also identifies a three-part structure to each of the two parts of the text: the sea voyage (Ch. 1-13) reaches a low point with a loss of consciousness ‘in the belly of the ship’ (ch. 7); the land journey (Ch. 14-30) reaches a central picture on the labyrinth of Ben Alder (Ch. 22), the highest point reached on the journey. The structure of chapters and sentences also shows great care in construction.]
Arata, Stephen (2004). ‘Stevenson Reading’. Journal of Stevenson Studies 1: 192-200.
Arata, Stephen (2004). ‘On Not
Paying Attention’. Victorian Studies
[A version of the RLS2008 paper, also published (2006), with some small differences, as ‘Stevenson, Morris, and the Value of Idleness’. In Ambrosini, Richard & Richard Dury (ed.). Robert Louis Stevenson. Writer of Boundaries. Madison, WI: The University of Wisconsin Press. 3-12. ]
(2004). ‘Some thoughts on “Performing Childhood in Treasure Island” ‘. Scottish
Studies Review 5ii: 84-7.
[A critique of McCulloch (2003): the language is obscure; the identifications of Pew as paedophile and the murder of Tom as a ‘parodic act of sodomy’ are unilluminating; an identification of a ‘proto-postmodernist literary game’ ignores a long tradition of embedded fictions in fictional texts.]
Bryk, Marta (2004). ‘The maidservant in the attic: Rewriting Stevenson’s
strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde in Valerie Martin’s Mary Reilly’.
Women: a Cultural Review 15ii: 204-16.
[Giving S’s speechless maid a voice is an ‘empowering act’ and subverts the political bias of the original. Despite the faithfulness of Martin’s verion to the original (with actual verbal echoes, and with Mary taking the role of Utterson) the fact that the narrator is Jekyll’s servant allows her to penetrate behind doors closed to Utterson, and focuses the text on power relations as mediated by class, gender and sexuality (in a patriarchal society persnified by J, H and Mary’s father). Martin’s version shows that ‘the psychological split on which the original centres is only one of many different manifestations of a more genral fissure withion the very fabric of Victorian society’.]
Buckton, Oliver S. (2004). ‘ “Faithful to his map”: Profit and the Art of Travel in Robert Louis Stevenson’. Journal of Stevenson Studies 1: 138-149.
Gerard (2004). Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde, The Master of Ballantrae and The
Ebb-Tide. Glasgow: Association for Scottish Literary Studies (Scotnotes).
[The ‘Scotnotes’ booklets are a series of study guides to major Scottish writers and texts frequently used within literature courses, aimed at senior secondary school pupils and students in further education.]
C. (2004). Robert
Louis Stevenson and the Colonial Imagination. Ashgate Publishing Ltd.
[Publisher's presentation: Robert Louis Stevenson and the Colonial Imagination examines Stevenson’s various and multi-voiced responses to living and working in the South Seas during the last six years of his life (1888-1894). The book looks at the particulars and complications of functioning within a newly established site of Empire. Using fresh information from the archives of the London Missionary Society, the Writers’ Museum (Edinburgh), the Beinecke Library (Yale University), the Huntington Library, and the Royal Geographical Society, Colley explores Stevenson’s complicated involvement with the colonial imagination. Her exploration of the missionary culture surrounding Stevenson during his life in the South Seas uncovers hitherto unexplored routes by which to understand Stevenson’s fiction as well as his experiences as a traveler and as a resident colonial in Samoa. This context offers a new and important approach to Stevenson’s views on memory, alienation, power, class, and nationalism. The chapters are: “Stevenson and the South Sea Missionaries”; “Stevenson’s Pyjamas”; “Colonies of Memory’; “Lighting up the Darkness”; “Stevenson’s Political Imagination”; and “The Juvenile Missionary Magazines and A Child’s Garden of Verses.]
[Review: Jolly, Roslyn (2005). Journal of British Studies 44.iv: 870-871.
On the basis of research in the archives of the London Missionary Society and elsewhere, Colley examines the intricate nature of Robert Louis Stevenson’s relation to imperialism. The book starts with a history of the missionaries in the Pacific that reveals Stevenson’s criticism of, yet ultimate support for, their work, and demonstrates how these attitudes helped shape his South Sea fiction. Subsequent chapters focus on Stevenson’s struggles with personal and cultural identity in the South Seas; his serious commitment to political issues and his thoughts about power and nationhood; and his interest in photography, panoramas, and magic lantern shows, revealing a sensitivity to the ways light plays upon darkness to create meaning. Finally, Stevenson’s recollections of his childhood are engaged not only to suggest an unacknowledged source (the juvenile missionary magazines) for A Child’s Garden of Verses but also to show how his imagination exceeds the formulae of the missionary culture and the boundaries of the colonial construct. Contents: Introduction; Stevenson and the South Sea Missionaries; Stevenson’s Pyjamas; Colonies of Memory; Lighting up the Darkness; Stevenson’s Political Imagination; the juvenile missionary magazines and A Child’s Garden of Verses.]
[Review: Niederhoff (2005).Literatur in Wissenschaft und Unterricht38.iv: 323-5 (though Colley’s LMS material may not be always relevant, ‘on balance she has made a valuable contribution to Stevenson studies that adds to our knowledge of his life and to our understanding of his writings’).]
[Review: Karen Kurt Teal (2007). Victorian Periodicals Review 40.i: 80-83. (Ann Colley's book is a group of essays devoted to Robert Louis Stevenson's fortunes and preoccupations in the South Seas during the last part of his short life. The loosely connected chapters cover meditations on the use of clothes by Stevenson and his native friends and staff, the role of light and shadows in fiction and perception, the treatment of Pacific island artifact, the influence of missionaries on the natives, and the influence of the islands on the short stories and essays he wrote while there. The chapters that will be most interesting to the readers of the Victorian Periodicals Review are the last two, which are about how Stevenson's politics found their way into the periodical press and how the missionary press informed his poetry.]
Danahay, Martin A. & Alex
Chisholm (eds.) (2004). Jekyll and Hyde Dramatized. Jefferson, NC: McFarland.
[The introductory material consists of a chronology, and notes on Mansfield, Sullivan, Stevenson, the American stage, and the Ripper case. Then follows the collated script of the Mansfield version, extracts from biographies and interviews, US and UK reviews, followed by the Bandman script and reviews; newspaper reports on the Ripper murders especially those with ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ references; finally the script of the 1910 London version. The quantity of primary material and the correction of many mistakes about the early stage versions will make this an essential text for all serious libraries.]
Review: Niederhoff (2005).Literatur in Wissenschaft und Unterricht 38.iv: 326-7 (‚Those who are interested in the growth of the Jekyll and Hyde myth, especially in its infant stages, witll find Jekyll and Hyde Dramatizedindispensible’).]
Davidson, Guy (2004). ‘Homosocial Relations,
Masculine Embodiment, and Imperialism in Stevenson’s The Ebb-Tide’. English
Literature in Transition 47ii: 123-41.
[‘In The Ebb-Tide an account of the instabilities of conventional masculinity overlaps with an account of the instabilities of the imperialist project. In this essay, I suggest that The Ebb-Tide’s representation of masculine crisis might be understood as a manifestation of what Christopher Lane calls “colonial jouissance.” In his book The Ruling Passion: Colonial Allegory and the Paradox of Desire (1995), Lane argues that the experience of cultural and environmental alterity made dangerously evident the fragility of a masculine subjectivity more readily naturalized at home, so that the colonial subject “was obliged ... to compete with a corresponding impulse to self-dispossession whenever he bid for a country’s possession” (Lane 16-17). In The Ebb-Tide, I suggest, the Pacific setting enables extreme modes of “internal unmaking.” The threat of self-dissolution that always shadowed the “aggressive self-mastery” of Victorian bourgeois masculinity is realized in the perverse energies of homoeroticism, hysteria, and masochism, and potently conveyed through persistent imagery of male bodies being overcome by involuntary impulses. Along with this representation of failed self-discipline, a certain “external defiance” carried in the novella’s representation of racial and classed differences between the male characters contributes to a critical perspective on imperialism and the forms of masculinity it elicited. However, while the novella both explicitly and inadvertently undermines certain orthodoxies and hierarchies integral to the imperialist project, it also often relies on these same structures to tell its story, suggesting a complex range of investments and disinvestments in imperialist ideology on Stevenson’s part.’ (Guy Davidson)]
Dryden, Linda (2004). The Modern Gothic and Literary Doubles: Stevenson Wilde and Wells. Basingstoke: Palgrave.
[Ch. 4 “ ‘City of Dreadful Night’: Stevenson’s Gothic London,” pp. 74-109: fin-de-siècle anxieties connected with the city (its size and anonymity, atavism, criminality, sex crimes); urban Gothic; the symbolic space of the narrative.]
Review: Niederhoff (2005).Literatur in Wissenschaft und Unterricht 38.iv: 329 (‘While most other studies of the double motif argue in moral, theological, or psychological terms, Dryden’s book stands out for its firm orientation towards the socio-historical context’).]
Dury, Richard (2004). ‘The Campness
of The New Arabian Nights’. Journal of Stevenson Studies 1:
[An earlier and shorter version in English of Dury 2003b.]
Edgecombe, Rodney Stenning (2004). ‘Dickens, Robert Louis Stevenson and South Sea idols’. Victorian Newsletter, March, 2004: ***.
Fernandez, Jean (2004). ‘ “Master’s made away with...”: Servant Voices and Narrational
Politics in The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’. Literature Interpretation Theory,
15.iv (Oct-Dec 2004): 363-387.
[A Derridean interpretation of Poole’s ‘servant’s narrative’ and the two written letters that follow it as revelatory of socio-political tensions.
‘In selectively focusing upon servant narration and its effects upon the reader’s experience of the wholeness of the text, I hope to demonstrate how class remains an abiding preoccupation of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and an inescapable condition of its reading… The sign of servant narration in Stevenson’s novella […] may be read as a symptom of class neurosis, which the text displays, yet simultaneously seeks to repress… Exploring the question of the servant’s potential for narrative agency, I shall examine how Stevenson’s text, by a rhetorical sleight of hand, ensures that Poole as ideal servant is ‘‘seen but not heard’’ in order to accomplish the task of narrating the story of Jekyll/Hyde as a ‘‘strange case.’’ The reading I propose necessarily addresses what Frederic Jameson terms the political unconscious of the text, with repression as an informing principle and shaping force of the text’s social dynamic.’
‘If the two letters of Lanyon and Jekyll re-establish bourgeois hegemony and repress servant narration, they also acknowledge the uncertainty of such an enterprise.’]
Firth, Leslie (2004). ‘John
Singer Sargent and Robert Louis Stevenson’. Magazine Antiques Nov.
2004 : ***. online
[‘In 1885 Sargent was in a time of crisis and confusion serious enough that he considered giving up painting altogether […] Sargent probably turned to Stevenson because of a new public fascination with the lives of the famous. […] Sargent probably met Stevenson in the 1870s when the writer visited his cousin Robert Alan Mowbray Stevenson, a painter, in Paris where both Stevenson and Sargent were students of Charles Emile Auguste Carolus Duran. […]
The portrait of Stevenson and his wife portrays them suspended between bohemian abandon and bourgeois constraint […] Sargent chose to portray Stevenson as ailing: cadaverously thin and pale with flushed cheeks and clawlike fingers. He infused the double portrait of Stevenson and his wife with suggestions of mortality […] One of the central subjects of the painting is the substantial gulf between the sexes signified by the distance between husband and wife and the open central doorway […] Sargent, who never married, usually represented couples with ambiguity. […] Sargent’s choice to amplify the eccentricities of his subjects complements Stevenson’s own exaggeration of his oddities. […] his daring interpretation of the portrait formula is rooted firmly in the work of French modernists such as Edgar Degas and Edouard Manet (1832-1883) whose disjointed compositions registered the fragmented experience of modern life […]
Stevenson’s desire to enjoy the portrait in private and Sargent’s to exhibit it as his statement about a mythic figure of English letters may well have put the two briefly at odds. The artist wrote defensively to Stevenson after having taken the portrait to London for varnishing: ‘There is no treachery whatever in your not yet having the picture,’ although he did take the opportunity to show it to a number of mutual friends. Evidently they reached an understanding because in 1887, two years after it was completed, Sargent showed the portrait at the New English Art Club, the most avant-garde gallery in London. It was the only time the portrait was publicly displayed in Stevenson’s lifetime. Sargent gave the portrait to Stevenson, inscribing it “to R. L. Stevenson, his friend John S. Sargent 1885.” The Stevensons displayed the portrait prominently first in their Bournemouth house and then in their house on Samoa.’]
Fusillo, Massimo (2004). ‘Metamorphosis at the
Window: Stevenson, Kafka, Cronenberg’. Elephant & Castle 26 October 2004
[In narratives, the liminal status and framing function of windows can be associated with mystery and concealment or with reverie, both of which can be found in post-Romantic and fantastic tales of uncanny metamorphosis. The windows of Jekyll’s cabinet are described from the outside, from the inside in and from the outside again. Two disturbing incidents are associated with a window: the Carew murder, seen from the inside, and the beginnings of a metamorphosis, seen from the outside. The dreaming maid and the melancholy Jekyll at the window belong to a literary tradition analysed by Silvio Curletto (in Finestre, 2003). Melancholy contemplation from the window is also found in Kafka’s Die Verwandlung, where the window is also associated with a final sense of liberation from monstrosity. In fact the window is a typically ambiguous motif, associated both with dreams of freedom and the sense of oppressive reality. Clearly visual in nature, it is associated with the visual process of metamorphosis in films, e.g. Cronenberg’s The Fly.]
Gerdts, William H. (2004). ‘The American Artists in Grez’. Laura Felleman Fattal & Carol Salus (eds.). Out of Context. American Artists Abroad.
Westport, Conn.: Greenwood.
[Information on the American (and other) painters that Stevenson knew at Grez (many from the studio of Carolus Duran in Paris). Available in part here]
Giroud, Vincent (2004). ‘E.J.B. and R.L.S.: the History of the Beinecke Stevenson Collection’. Journal of Stevenson Studies 1: 42-59.
Gray, William (2004a). Robert Louis Stevenson: A Literary Life. Basingstoke:
[Not another biography but an overview of Stevenson’s writing career made interesting by a stimulating division into five geographical chapters, dealing with works that can be profitably related to the cultural contexts of England, France, Scotland, America and the South Seas. The placing of ‘The English Scene’ first is an interesting decision but justifiable if we remember the importance of the London literary scene for his early career. Scotland is placed centrally, and the main discussion of Jekyll and Hyde is in this chapter, showing that the arrangement is by cultural context of the works rather than residence during the writing or the setting of the narrative—though often the three coincide nicely. Gray’s interest in French and German critics also produces some interesting observations. There are a sprinkling of misprints and a couple of repetitions.]
[Review: Niederhoff (2005). Review in Niederhoff (2005). Literatur in Wissenschaft und Unterricht 38.iv: 321-2 (beginners will find it hard to see the wood from the trees, but ‘advanced Stevenonsians will find it interesting and instructive – not for the overall picture but for some of the individual pieces of the puzzle’].
Gray, William (2004b). ‘Amiable Infidelity, Grim-faced Dummies and Rondels: Robert
Louis Stevenson’ on George MacDonald’. North Wind: Journal of George MacDonald
Society 23: ***
[Affinities and differences between Stevenson and MacDonald; references to MacDonald in Stevenson’s letters (RLS appreciates MacDonald’s ‘amiable infidelity’ or undogmatic theology; he refers to a frightening scene in Phantastes with ‘grim-faces dummies’ and he praises MacDonald’s rondels); literary affinities; possible influences and unconscious echoes of MacDonald in Stevenson.
In October 1872 (Ltrs 1: 255) RLS refers to the trampling scene in Ch. 23 of Phantastes, comparing the forces of religious conformity gathering round him in a threatening way to ‘the wooden men in Phantastes who ‘can stamp the life out of me’. Gray suggests that this disturbing scene in Phantastes remained in his mind and influenced his description of the man moving like ‘some damned Juggernaut’ who ‘trampled calmly over the child’s body’ in JH. ]
Erika (2004). ‘Mediendoppelgängereien: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde verwandeln sich
in Film’. Poetica 36: 429-452.
[A study of four film versions of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (Mamoulian 1931, Fleming 1941, Renoir 1959 and Wickes 1999) with attention to media semiotics and metacinematic implications of the ‘double’ in film. Despite the quasi-screenplay in the first chapter (Utterson’s dream, with its montage of subjective images), S’s text is very ‘uncinematic’ (in its focus on the obscure, the indescribable, the hidden). The many film versions concentrate on revealing Hyde’s face and showing the metamorphosis, the latter closely connected with self-conscious displays of transformations between different media. There follows a useful analysis of the fundamental differences between film and book, analysing the aspects that cannot be effectively translated into film, explaining the technical reasons why the latter has chosen to concentrate on one man dividing into two (rather than the discovery that two are one). The repeated portrayals of the metamorphosis are explorations in the possibilities of the film medium and also foregroundings of the medium itself, often through confrontations with other media. This foregrounding is found in the original text with its repeated references to writing and is translated into film not only in the metamorphosis but also through split-screens, mirror-scenes, frozen images, changes from colour to black and white etc., and the introduction of mechanical recordings by Jekyll into the story. These media-confrontations create the most uncanny moments of doubling in the films.]
(2004). ‘The Shorter Fiction of Robert Louis Stevenson: Teaching Notes for
Higher and Advanced Higher’. Glasgow: Association for Scottish Literary
[Despite the title, this is devoted entirely to Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.]
Honaker, Lisa (2004). ‘ “One Man to Rely On”: Long John Silver and the Shifting
Character of Victorian’s Boys’ Fiction.” Journal of Narrative Theory 34i
(Winter 2004): 27-53.
[This article examines more closely the romancers’ conception of character and its connection to empire in boys’ adventure fiction. Having remarked in boys’ fiction the changes in the British empire from a trade-missionary activity at mid-century to a militaristic activity at late-century, critics note a coincident change in the hero who will serve that empire. Starting out as the androgynous Arnoldian Christian soldier, whose character is defined by the softer virtues also on display in the Victorian angel, the boy’s adventure hero metamorphoses into a more aggressive character from whom such virtues have been stripped. Brief analyses of Thomas Hughes’s Tom Brown’s Schooldays, R.M. Ballantyne’s The Coral Island and Blue Lights; or Hot Work in the Soudan, and G. A. Henty’s By Sheer Pluck and With Clive in India chart this change in the ideal of character. The article goes on to contend that Stevenson acknowledges this shift in the ideal of character in his work, beginning with his treatment of Long John Silver in Treasure Island. As the personification of situational ethics, Silver effectively supplants Jim Hawkins as the work’s hero, for Jim’s frequent attacks of fear and conscience overmatch his bravery. The article, then, considers the change wrought in the genre when the villain becomes the hero of romance.]
Jolly, Roslyn (2004). ‘South Sea Gothic: Pierre Loti and Robert Louis Stevenson.’. English
Literature in Transition 47i: 28-49.
[‘The essay compares the use of Polynesian occult traditions and gothic elements in Loti’s The Marriage of Loti (1880) and Stevenson’s “The Beach of Falesa” (1892). Loti’s novel develops through a series of generic shifts; whereas the first third (idyll) and second third (pastoral), with their themes of the Polynesian paradise and paradise lost, employ staple motifs of nineteenth-century Pacific travel writing and exotic literature, the gothic vision of Tahiti in the novel’s final third has no precursors in the European archive of Pacific writing, but rather takes its source from indigenous Tahitian culture. In this section, the narrator is overwhelmed by inexplicable terrors which find their correlatives in the demons of Tahitian mythology. I argue that this vision of Tahiti as a place of horror is not, as other critics have suggested, a manifestation of fears about Polynesian depopulation, but rather the expression of opposite anxieties about fertility, miscegenation and repopulation.
In Stevenson’s “The Beach of Falesa”, gothic styles of depicting the Polynesian woman are treated comically, and the imaginative mode Brantlinger calls “imperial gothic” is debunked. But while Stevenson rejects the colonialist appropriation of Polynesian gothic elements, he does not demystify the supernatural stories of the indigenous storyteller. The result is that Polynesian and European world-views are finely balanced, with neither controlling the text. This strategic use of South Sea gothic allows Stevenson to explore alternative epistemologies, but creates little sense of the truly horrific. For this, we must look to the white characters, and particularly to the murder of the trader Underhill, which employs the classic gothic motif of burial alive to show the extent and consequences of political and economic competition between white men in the Pacific.’ (Roslyn Jolly)]
LeFew-Blake, Penelope (2004). ‘ ‘‘Ordered South’’: The Spatial Sense of
the Invalid in Robert Louis Stevenson’s Early Travel Essay’. Nineteenth-Century
Prose 31.i: 121–32.
[Argues that in the essay ‘‘Ordered South’’ Stevenson ‘presents the reader with an example of the spatial and temporal subjectivity of the invalid as he travels by train from an unspecified ‘‘north’’ to an unidentified ‘‘south’’ ‘ (121).]
Luoma, Jyri-Pekka (2004). ‘Phantasmagoria and Psyche in Robert
Louis Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’. Wormwood 2
(spring/summer 2004): 48-57.
[This essay examines ways in which phantasmogorical elements in JH relate to the subconscious mind. Late 19th century writers were fascinated by physical phenomena that were yet not ‘concrete’, which symbolise the unknown and also correspond to strange and unknown aspects of the human psyche. The fog and gas-light in JH create a dreamlike environment for frightening beings and unexplained incidents and also seem the creation of a hallucination. The inconsistent and fragmentary environment corresponds to a fragmentary consciousness; the vague and shifting lamplit fog seems a metaphor for the subconscious.]
Mack, Douglas S. (2004). ‘Can the
subaltern speak?: Stevenson, Hogg and Samoa’. Journal of Stevenson Studies
[Puts Falesá in the company of Heart of Darkness as ‘devastating critiques of Empire’.]
Mank, Greg (2004). [voice-over commentary on the 1931 Mamoulian film version of Dr Jekyl and Mr Hyde]. Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde Double Feature (the 1931 and the 1941 films). Warner Home Video, 2004.
Manning, John (2004). The Emblem. London: Reaktion Books.
[From the publisher’s presentation: ‘The emblem, an image accompanied by a motto and a verse or short prose passage, is… one of the most fascinating, and enduring, art forms in Western culture. John Manning’s book charts the rise and evolution of the emblem from its earliest manifestations to its emergence as a genre in its own right in the sixteenth century, and then through its various reinventions to the present day…. writers and artists from Robert Louis Stevenson to Ian Hamilton Finlay have used emblems in new and subversive ways.’]
Massie, Eric (2002). ‘Stevenson, Conrad and the Proto-Modernist Novel’. PhD thesis, Univ of Stirling.
McCulloch, Fiona (2004). The Fictional Role of Childhood.
Lewiston, Queenston & Lampeter: The Edwin Mellen Press.
[Ch. 3 ‘ ‘‘Playing Double’’: Performing Childhood in Treasure Island’ (see McCulloch 2003). Ch. 7 ‘ ‘‘It is but a child of air that lingers in the garden there’’: Desiring Innocence in A Child’s Garden of Verses’.]
Mehew, Ernest (2004). ‘Robert Louis Stevenson’. H.C.G. Matthew & Brian Harrison (eds.). Oxford
Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford: OUP, in association with the
[Ends with ‘Posthumous reputation’ and a list of archive sources and ‘likenesses’.]
Kevin (2004). ‘The Stain on the Mirror: Pauline Reflections in “The Strange
Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.” ’ Christianity
& Literature 53.iii: 337-348.
[‘Given their barrage of damaging blows aimed at the mirror of self-consciousness, some post-Kantian thinkers have shown people an image of themselves that is unlike both the visual awareness of their appearance and the imagination’s projection of their identity. However, the chastening of Rene Descartes and Immanuel Kant’s self-images, and the breaking of their vainglorious mirrors, did not require much besides a careful reading of Saint Paul. Philosopher Robert Louis Stevenson was, perhaps, among the first to recognize this, or at least the first to encode that recognition in fictional form. In that most Pauline of tales, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, he explores subjectivity in a way that both echoes Paul’s text and brings to light the puzzling fecundity of the self. This article attempts to set up a series of reflections between the texts of Stevenson and Saint Paul in order to create an image of the Christian subject’ (summary: Academic Source Premier)]
Mishra, Sudesh (2004). ‘No Sign is
an Island’. Journal of Stevenson Studies 1: 201-211.
[A semiotic meditation no islands with reference to S. Melville, Derek Walcott and others.]
Moore, Grace (2004). 'Something to Hyde: The “Strange Preference” of Henry Jekyll'. In
Maunder, Andrew and Grace Moore (2004). Victorian Crime, Madness and Sensation.
Farnham: Ashgate. 147-61.
[Among other things, discusses the possible allusions to masturbation as Jekyll's secret pleasures (pp. 151-52]
Andrew (2004). ‘ “The Dead Should Be Protected From Their Own Carelessness”:
The Collected Editions of Robert Louis Stevenson’. In Andrew Nash (ed.) (2004). The Culture of Collected
Editions. Basingstoke: Palgrave. 111-127.
[The Culture of Collected Editions ‘continually raises interesting questions about the role of collected editions in organizing the literary system’ (Andrew Piper, Columbia University Sharp News). From the publisher: ‘a ground-breaking book, offering the first comprehensive account of the vital role that collected editions have played in the construction of authorship, the history of reputation and the formation of the canon.’
Nash’s chapter is based on the paper he gave at RLS2000 in Stirling: ‘Andrew Nash… gave a fascinating archive-based report on the Stevenson collected editions 1894-1924. There were in fact an exceptional number of six collected editions in this period (Edinburgh, Pentland, Swanston, Vailima, Tusitala and Skerryvore). The stately volumes of the Edinburgh Edition in particular inspired other authors, such as Hardy, Kipling and James to plan their own collected editions.’ (conference report)]
Naugrette, Jean-Pierre (2004). ‘On the possibility and plurality of worlds: from The Strange Case
of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde to Le Crime étrange de Mr Hyde’. In François Gallix et Vanessa Guignery (eds.). Crime
Fictions – Subverted Codes and New Structures. Paris: Presses Universitaires de la Sorbonne. 23-44.
[JH oscillates between what Eco calls ‘likely’ and ‘unlikely’ ‘possible worlds’ and ‘inconceivable worlds.’ The plot has the essential elements of a mystery story which are then subverted—the motive for the Carew murder remains unsolved; Utterson, far from detached, is doubly involved in the Carew murder and could be interested in inheriting Jekyll’s money; and the last two chapters become more of a case history. The ‘impossible geometry’ makes it a kind of ‘pre-expressionistic text’ (an idea taken up by illustrators), where we find a combination of the clear-cut and the swirling image. The second half of the article is devoted to Naugrette’s two novels inspired by JH and 19th-century fictions: the significant changes and elaborations and their literary allusions, but also their combination of different narrative ‘worlds,’ as in JH, the ‘switching and stitching the unlikely onto the likely’.]
Norquay, Glenda (2004). ‘Ghost Writing: Stevenson and Dumas’. Journal of Stevenson Studies 1: 60-75
(2004). ‘Treasure Island and Time: Childhood, Quickness and Robert
Louis Stevenson’. Ch. 5 in Representing Scotland in Literature, Popular
Culture and Iconography. The Masks of the Modern Nation. Basingstoke:
Palgrave Macmillan. 88-100. (Originally published in Children’s Literature
in Education 27.iii (1996): 181-93.)
[TrIs opens with the framing voice of adult Jim, rational, attempting legalistic precision, but moves quickly to vivid memorable images (Billy Bones’s scar) seen with the quick imagination and vivid perception of the young Jim. Jacqueline Rose (The Case of Peter Pan) claims that children’s fiction is ‘impossible’ because it’s by adults but about children, from whom the former are separated. But Riach says this ‘space in between’ can be traversed in reading when revisiting an imaginary space. And perhaps Scottish writers (Balantyne, Stevenson, Barrie) were successful writers for children because they can map their Scottish condition onto childhood and so cross more easily that ‘space in between’. Silver belongs to an earlier social world, but Jim is associated with the post-1745 civilized British ‘gentlemen’ (Dr Livesey served under Cumberland, associated with Culloden), with the power-based, adult world. However, though Silver and Jim are apposed to each other by the dominant Victorian world-view, they also see themselves in each other, just as the adult reader can revisit childhood through the experience of the narrative.]
Rutelli, Romana (2004). ‘Due trasposizioni cinematografiche del Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’. In Dal
libro allo schermo. Sulle traduzioni intersemiotiche dal testo verbale al
cinema. Pisa: Edizioni ETS. 51-69.
[A semiotic study of Fleming’s 1941 film and Frears’ Mary Reilly; changes in narrative structure, additions and suppressions; point-of-view and subjectivities (especially Mary Reilly as observer and observed); Mary Reilly and sexual instincts, her reaction to seduction by Jekyll and Hyde.]
Spila, Cristiano (2004). ‘La
strategia del finale in “The strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” di R.L.
Stevenson’ [the strategy of the ending of R.L. Stevenson’s Dr Jekyll and Mr
Hyde]. Strumenti critici 19ii (maggio 2004): 171-188.
[JH is situated on the boundary of two main genres, the Gothic novel and the detective story; it is also a dossier of legal writings, a ‘narrative mosaic’. Stevenson adds further elements that complicate reading: ambiguities, false trails, conversations full of doubts and suspicions—JH is ‘organized around a series of narrative manoeuvres aimed at confusing the reader’ (174n), ‘Stevenson transforms he story into a calibrated mechanism of ingenious cross-references, delays and retrospection’ (183). The ending in particular is notably complex and enigmatic. Jekyll and Hyde are and are not the same person, and so the reader finds two deaths and two endings. The ending represents a fracture in the narration (the narrated story ends with chapter 8 and the death of Hyde, followed by an appendix of two letters). The final letter functions on two levels: as an expression of a writer’s subjectivity and as a piece of evidence, a part of the ‘novel-mosaic’. The end has the conclusiveness of the death of the protagonist, yet at the same time leaves the text in a state of suspension. The conflict of Good and Evil is also unresolved: Jekyll cannot face and overcome Hyde, but has to avoid the possibility of being Hyde. Stevenson’s awareness of the artificial nature of fiction leads him to deny any concluding nature to the end.]
(2004). ‘Dr Jekyll and Mr Jackass: Fight Club as a Refraction of Hogg’s Justified
Sinner and Stevenson’s Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’. Postmodern Studies
35 (‘Refracting the Canon in Contemporary British Literature and Film’, ed.
Susana Onega and Christian Gutleben): 83-94.
[Abstract: ‘This paper considers Fight Club (both Chuck Palahniuk’s novel and David Fincher’s film) as a “refraction” of James Hogg’s Justified Sinner and R. L. Stevenson’s Jekyll and Hyde. Fight Club reworks the Gothic topos of the Doppelgänger in a twentieth-century American urban context, and, like its nineteenth-century predecessors, it can be read both psychologically and supernaturally.’]
G. (2004). ‘Notes on the Port of St Francis (1951)’. Quarterly Newsletter,
Book Club of California 69 (Spring 2004): 35-41.
[An introduction to the 1951 20-minute documentary film on San Francisco by Frank Stauffacher. The commentary (spoken by Vincent Price) is almost all from Stevenson’s ‘A Modern Cosmopolis’ (1883).]
Turnbull, Olena M. (2004). ‘ “All of
life that is not merely mechanical is spun of two threads”: Women Characters in
Robert Louis Stevenson’s Catriona’. Journal of Stevenson Studies
[‘The essay dissents from the standard opinion that S wrote primarily and about men and boys… Turnbull repudiates the theory that Stevenson’s fiction is escapist and apolitical.. her general case that the personal is political in S is quite persuasive, but the specific case about Barbara Grant and Catriona is barely made’ (Niederhoff 2005: 323).]
Walker, Richard J. (2004). ‘ “He, I
say – I Cannot Say I’: Modernity and the crisis of Identity in Robert Louis
Stevenson’s Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’. Journal of
Stevenson Studies 1: 76-102.
[Hyde is variously the alter-ego that disrupts the bourgeois individual, an incarnation of bourgeois self-interest, a by-product of an attempt to re-sanctify the bourgeois individual, and the product of capitalism.]
Watson, Roderick (2004). ‘ “You cannot fight me with a word”: The Master of Ballantrae and the wilderness beyond dualism’. Journal of Stevenson Studies 1: 1-23.
Zlosnik, Sue (2004). ‘ “Home is the
sailor, home from sea”: Robert Louis Stevenson and the end of wandering’. Yearbook
of English Studies (Jan. 2004):240-264.
[‘This essay considers Stevenson's travel writings in relation to his Gothic imagination. In the early essays, An Inland Voyage and Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes, a process of authorial self-construction is at work that anticipates the modern self of his Gothic fiction. His United States travelogue, The Amateur Emigrant, often dwells on the abject in his descriptions of himself and his fellow passengers. In In the South Seas he engages with a culture that still possesses an epistemology relegated in Western culture to the post-enlightenment fears and anxieties that found clearest and most dramatic expression in Gothic fiction.’ (abstract)]
Abi-Ezzi, Nathalie (2003). The Double in the Fiction of R. L.
Stevenson, Wilkie Collins and Daphne du Maurier. Bern
etc.: Peter Lang. 3-906769-68-2 (US: 0-8204-5905-4).
[A version of Abi-Ezzi, Nathalie (2000). Each of the three authors studied produced significant works involving the literary double and each ‘rejected the prevailing social order of his or her time, a factor that plays an important role in determining how the double is represented and treated. The literary theory of romance narrative structure […] is shown to apply to a largely masculine identity. On the other hand, the rise of the female persona and her relation to the double is a progression that is clearly charted through the works of Stevenson, Collins and du Maurier. It shows an extraordinary alteration in the structure of traditional romance narrative, and leads to an exploration of new ways in which the imprisoned female character may be able to free herself and become whole.’]
Review: Niederhoff (2005).Literatur in Wissenschaft und Unterricht 38.iv: 330-1 (Unable to free himself from his father’s values, S’s Double narratives are stuck in the descent stage of Northrop Frye’s romance plot—a forced reading that Niederhoff judges as ‘preposterous’ (he also complains of her loose definition of the Double), though he says that ‘she gives a fairly full and perceptive survey of split personalities in S’s novels and short stories’).]
Ambrosini, Richard (2003). ‘R.L.
Stevenson, Joseph Conrad, e la nascita del romanzo coloniale’ [‘R.L. Stevenson,
Joseph Conrad and the birth of the colonial novel’]. Pagetti,
Carlo & Francesca Orestano (a cura di) (2003). Il gioco dei cerchi
concentrici. Milano: Unicopli. Pp. 105-111.
[Stevenson, sometimes seen as merely attracted by the exotic, actively worked in support of the colonized, undertook an ethnographic work, In the South Seas, and, on his return to fiction, rejected the conventions of romance in favour of a realism that displays the conflict of races and cultures. In contrast, Conrad’s first novels are clearly in the area of exotic tales abandoned by Stevenson and taken over by Kipling. Influences of Stevenson can also be seen in The Nigger of the Narcissus (in Donkin), The Secrtet Agent (echoes of The Dynamiter) and Victory (with many elements in common with The Ebb-Tide). Indeed, Stevenson seems to be Conrad’s ‘secret sharer’. But in his ‘colonial novels’, Stevenson rebelled against the expectations of his readers, which Conrad, struggling to get established in the British literary market, could not afford to do.]
Ambrosini, Richard (2003). ‘The Art of Writing and the Pleasure of Reading: R. L.
Stevenson as Theorist and Popular Author’. In Jones (ed.) (2003): 21-36.
[Stevenson’s aesthetic theory focuses on the pleasure that appeals to readers of all kinds (‘schoolboy and sage’). An early interest in pleasure in general can be seen in the projected ‘Essays on the Enjoyment of the World’ (intended to include ‘Roads’, ‘Notes on the Movement of Young Children’ and ‘On the Enjoyment of Unpleasant Places’). This then develops into a theory of specifically literary pleasure. ‘A Gossip on Romance’ (1882, composed as he was revising Treasure Island) investigates reader-response psychology; ‘Victor Hugo’s Romances’ (1884) further looks into the ‘impressions’ and the memory left by a novel. These two essays reveal Stevenson’s project to create an artistic and poetic romance that creates pleasure in mythical and epical qualities deriving from ‘incident, interest, action’ and from memorable ‘epoch-making scenes’.]
Ambrosini, Richard (2004). ‘Introduzione’. Robert Louis Stevenson (tr. Alesandra Osti). L’isola del tesoro. Roma: La
Biblioteca della Repubblica (Ottocento, 23). Pp vii-xlvii. Published as supplement to La Repubblica 26 May
[Treasure Island can be seen as a practical exemplification of theories that Stevenson had been developing for some time (culminating in ‘A Gossip on Romance’) about ‘epic value’ in narratives with universal appeal, about primordial aesthetics and the pleasure of reading (a sort of ‘anthropological approach’ to narrative). The story deviates from moral tales, from the Bildungsroman and even from Defoe. It evolves from a psychological novel to an adventure novel to the accompaniment of two nightmares: the forward-looking dreams of the one-legged seaman and the backward-looking dream of the waves and the cry of the parrot, the latter showing how Jim has not been able to resolve the tensions of the narrated experience. Stevenson was interested in the new popular literature, which he exploits to create this ‘hyperliterary variation on banal stroies celebrating bloodthirsty criminals’. His aim was ‘to reduce to their essence narrative conventions and strategies borrowed from popular sub-genres, in order to produce a formal purity that can give the narration a universal quality’ (xliii).]
Bordat, Francis (2003). ‘L’image
à l’aventure: L’Île au trésorau cinéma’. In Menegaldo, Gilles &
Jean-Pierre Naugrette (eds.). R. L. Stevenson & A. Conan Doyle.
Aventures de la Fiction. Rennes : Terre de Brume. 351-366.
[The typical approach towards adaptations is to take ‘fidelity’ as the only criterion, but Bordat thinks that the least respectful of the original are the most interesting, since adventure, not philological accuracy, has to be present in the image. The 1911 Wyeth illustrations are interesting in themselves and also because they seem to have directly inspired the costumes of Tourneur’s film of 1920 and the interpretation of a feminized Jim (played by Shirley Mason). The 1934 Fleming film ‘is the most unfaithful yet the most faithful’: here there is no initiation but an escape from women, no murder of the father but the search for one. There is a kind of love story between Silver and Jim. In the book Jim cries at the death of Bones, but in the film, he cries over Silver: once when he learns of Silver’s betrayal and then when Silver finally leaves the ship at the end. Both Jim and Silver are feminized, while Livesey’s excessive display of masculinity makes him less attractive.]
Bozzetto, Roger (2003). ‘L’impossible portrait du monstre’. In Menegaldo,
Gilles & Jean-Pierre Naugrette (eds.). R. L. Stevenson & A. Conan
Doyle. Aventures de la Fiction. Rennes : Terre de Brume. pp. 141-151.
[A study of two rewritings of Jekyll and Hyde: Valerie Martin’s Mary Reilly (1990) and Jean-Pierre Naugrette’s Le crime étrange de Mr Hyde (1998). In Mary Reilly the protagonist does not reject the monster, accepting Hyde as another aspect of Jekyll. Naugrette gives Hyde a voice (to explain, for example, that he was trying to save, not to trample the child) and makes him less exceptional, since he is surrounded by others with base motives and shares his nightly pleasures with members of good society. Hyde is a monster for neither Martin nor Naugrette, for the former he retains a certain humanity, while for the latter he is more of a victim in a society of notables and hypocrites.]
Broks, Paul (2003). ‘The Dreams of Robert Louis Stevenson’. In
Into the Silent Land. Travels in Neuropsychology. London: Atlantic Books. 171-180.
[Mainly a summary with quotations from ‘A Chapter on Dreams’ plus a few interpretative comments. Broks sees in Stevenson an example of ‘dissociation… the splitting of mental processes from mainstream consciousness. In Stevenson’s case the dissociation was evident in his dream life’ (p. 173). He adds that Stevenson ‘brilliantly’ captures the nature of ‘micropsia’ and ‘macropsia’ when he describes a childhood experience of things looming up ‘to the bigness of a church’ and then drawing away ‘into a horror of infinite distance and infinite littleness’ (pp. 173-4). The book was a finalist for The Guardian First Book Award. .]
Brazzelli, Nicoletta (2003). ‘Andrew Lang e Robert Louis Stevenson: Cronaca di un’amicizia letteraria’
[AL and RLS: Account of a literary friendship]. Il lettore di provincia 34 n.118: 7-21.
[An account of the links between Lang and Stevenson, with special attention to their correspondence and also to their shared views on primitive narrative-forms and romance.]
Buckton Oliver S. (2003). ‘Reanimating Stevenson’s Corpus’. In Jones (ed.) (2003): 37-67. [reprinted from Nineteenth-Century Literature 55i (June 2000): 22-58].
Cairney, John (2003). ‘Helter-Skeltery: Stevenson
and Theatre’. In Jones (ed.) (2003): 192-208.
[Based on Cairney’s doctoral thesis (1994), this contribution starts by considering Stevenson’s natural inclination towards things theatrical and his fascination with the stage dating from his toy theatre beginnings and goes on to deal with the four plays and the stormy association with Henley. Cairney has a low opinion of S’s plays ‘but his explanation of why they are failures consists in mere assertions without evidence or argument’ (Niederhoff 2005: 322)]
Calder, Jenni (2003). ‘The Eyeball of the Dawn : Can We Trust Stevenson’s
Imagination?’. In Jones (ed.) (2003): 7-20.
[An examination of Stevenson’s prose style and the way it changed with the transforming experiences of America and the Pacific. Stevenson, in both his fiction and non-fiction, combines close observation of phenomena with an imagination that shapes, sequences and communicates by metaphor. Typically, he gives us both clarity (through choice of detail, unexpected metaphor and iconic sequencing of sounds and sights) together with a sense of strangeness and foreign-ness (the descriptions of Treasure Island, for example, or the landfalls in The Ebb-Tide and In the South Seas). The decisive American and Pacific experiences lead to a sparer prose and a direct facing of human problems. Yet he continues, like Herrick in The Ebb-Tide, to ‘search for analogies’ of what he sees—in order to understand and communicate. And it is this clear motivation behind his writing that leads us to trust his imagination.]
Chareyre-Méjan, Alain (2003). ‘La vie est
un paysage. (Stevenson, ou l’esthétique de la vie au grand air)’.In Menegaldo,
Gilles & Jean-Pierre Naugrette (eds.). R. L. Stevenson & A. Conan
Doyle. Aventures de la Fiction. Rennes : Terre de Brume. Pp.155-164.
[For Stevenson writing is similar to walking, in both of which ‘presence’ (even of a detail or fragment) becomes ‘meaning’. The voyage is ‘an immersion in the non-psycho-degradable stuff of things themselves’ (158); landscape is ‘the world as it presents itself in its infinite appearance with nothing that might be exterior to it’ (159). Stevenson’s texts aim to give the same quality to the reading experience and to release the charm of the physical tautology of presences. Idling (‘mastery over matter through nonchalance’) means letting the world be the world and accepting that ‘happiness has no aim or meaning’ (160). Stevenson, in a way, is the first ‘land artist’ and his life is composed of ‘geo-poetic performances’ (158). ‘Reading books can be like walking; you let yourself be carried along by the world that passes by, stopping to contemplate a detail that is suddenly of great importance’ (162). C.-M. goes so far as to say Inland Voyage and Travels with a Donkey are Stevenson’s masterpieces and ‘the key to everything he wrote’. They present ‘the mystery of the emptiness of material existence’ that we also see in passages from In the South Seas: ‘Writing for Stevenson, as for Lucretius, gives us the spatial ecstasy of things, now’ (162). Hence Stevenson narrator and Stevenson traveller merge: ‘ “saying” the world and travelling it, in order to experience that it is always, by definition, there before it “means”, become one and the same thing’ (163).]
Chelebourg, Christian (2003). ‘Destins
d’une relique (réalité sociale et roman policier chez Stevenson et Doyle’.In
Menegaldo, Gilles & Jean-Pierre Naugrette (eds.). R. L. Stevenson &
A. Conan Doyle. Aventures de la Fiction. Rennes : Terre de Brume. Pp. 165-188.
[The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins (1868) influences both The New Arabian Nights and The Sign of Four with its detective-story elements, its fantastic realism and specifically in the central place given to the fabulous gemstone, a relic of Oriental marvels. The diamond has a regressive influence, causing a break with the Victorian order (it reduces Rolles to materialistic paganism). But more than anything else, the stone brings disaster, a return of an ancestral curse, a suggestion of Satanic influence.]
Cohen, Alain J.-J.(2003). ‘Dr Jekyll et Mr Hyde de Mamoulian: Morphing postmoderne,
portraiture baroque’. In Menegaldo, Gilles & Jean-Pierre Naugrette (eds.). R.
L. Stevenson & A. Conan Doyle. Aventures de la Fiction. Rennes :
Terre de Brume. 393-406.
[A study of the seven transformations of Jekyll/Hyde in the 1931 film and the way they contribute to an idea of instability and complexity of oppositions (as in the first which takes place in front of a mirror). The distribution of the transformations shows Jekyll’s increasing lack of control. The essay ends with some considerations about Lacan’s concept of the Ego as applied to Hyde]
Colley, Ann C.
(2003). ‘Colonies of Memory’. Victorian Literature and Culture 31(2): 405-27.
[Missionaries, responsible for much destruction of South Sea culture, also studied it and preserved its artefacts. The latter were sent to various institutions, including the London Missionary Society Museum, where they were displayed as curiosities and trophies of Christianity. Just as the objects in the Museum were collected and preserved because ‘other’, so our memories retain what is distinct; and just as the meaning of the artefacts changed when isolated from their original context, so do memories. Though Hume says that identity depends on memory, Colley observes that memories also paradoxically cause alienation, since they are often adapted to the expectations of others, or conform to conventions. Though Stevenson studied South Seas culture, he explicitly rejected the idea of collecting objects (though his family did so), and his house was filled with the material culture of his life in Scotland and England. His memories of home seem to have been unusually stable, but we find an appreciation of the mutability of memory in his Pacific island studies and stories, where he typically he tells of an invasive culture that interrupts memory. The confusing cultural exchange that results is illustrated in the cabinet of Western curiosities (umbrellas, sewing-machines, etc.) amassed by King Tembinok—an ironic mirror-image of the collections of exotic curiosities collected by Western intruders. Case, too, in ‘Falesà’ has a “museum” of curiosities that he uses to manipulate the islanders.]
Colley, Ann C. (2003). ‘Writing Towards Home’: The
Landscape of A Child’s Garden of Verses’. In
Jones (ed.) (2003): 174-91.
[A version of the article with the same title in Victorian Poetry 35(3) (Fall 1997).]
Cookson, Gillian. ‘Engineering Influences on Jekyll
and Hyde. In Jones (ed.) (2003): 117-123.
[A version of the article with the same title in Notes and Queries, 46iv (1999): 487-91.]
Crignon-Machinal, Hélène (2003). ‘Florizel and Holmes: un scandal en Bohème’In Menegaldo, Gilles &
Jean-Pierre Naugrette (eds.). R. L. Stevenson & A. Conan Doyle.
Aventures de la Fiction. Rennes : Terre de Brume. 75-98.
[Both authors write about the modern city, its labyrinthine form, chance events and hidden world of crime. Both also see the theatricality of social life: for Holmes London is a vast theatre where he plays many roles, the satisfaction of spectacle often compensating for lack of knowledge. Stevenson’s Prince Florizel also acts out roles on the many stages provided by the city-theatre. In his emphasis on the unreal and fictional aspects of life, Stevenson is closer to the Symbolistes than the Realists (and here we may remember Mallarmé’s admiration for him): he takes pleasure in a back-and-forward movement in the imagination.]
Drescher, Alexander N. (2003). ‘A Reading of Nabokov’s “That in Aleppo Once...” ‘. Zembla (International
Nabokovian Society). online
[Nabokov’s ‘That in Aleppo Once…’ (Atlantic Monthly May 1943; Nabokov’s Dozen, 1953) takes the form of a letter written by a Russian émigré to his fellow countryman ‘V’, relating the incidents of his emigration and inviting him to make a story of it.
In his second section (subtitled ‘A Dialogue with Stevenson’), Drescher traces the parallels between Nabokov’s story and Stevenson’s Dr Jekyll and Hyde: Nabokov’s story can be divided into two parts, in which the letter-writer appears more Jekyll-like and then more Hyde-like, linked by a paragraph containing reference to a glass containing a pink rose with ‘parasitic bubbles clinging to its stem’ suggestive of Jekyll’s potion. [Just before this is the word ‘serum’.] The same linking paragraph ends with: ‘the rose was merely what French rhymesters call une cheville’. The last word (= a meaningless ‘filler’ in a poetic line) was probably borrowed from Stevenson’s ‘On Some Technical Elements of Style’ (cited by Nabokov in his lessons on JH). Drescher remarks that ‘The letter’s description of a cheveille is itself a cheville’ and here Nabokov seems to be imitating Stevenson who in this essay has several examples of ‘the description as example’ [what Dury 2005, with reference to the same essay, calls language that ‘self-reflectively illustrates in itself what it discusses’]. Stevenson says that prose should not become metrical in a sentence that is close to being an iambic pentameter and, in a similarly reflexive way, he sonorously talks of a disappointing sentence that begins ‘solemnly and sonorously’ but is (in less sonorous words) ‘hastily and weakly finished’.
Drescher also identifies a virtuoso paragraph (beginning ‘I should also not like to forget…’) in which he Nabokov seems to be creating a ‘picture’ at a ‘culminating moment’ (following Stevenson’s observation in ‘A Gossip on Romance’, cited in his Lectures on Literature) at the same time playing with the rhythms and sound-patterns in a way that Stevenson discusses in ‘Style’.]
Ducreu-Petit, Maryse (2003). ‘Stevenson/Doyle : enquêteurs d’âmes’. In Menegaldo, Gilles &
Jean-Pierre Naugrette (eds.). R. L. Stevenson & A. Conan Doyle.
Aventures de la Fiction. Rennes : Terre de Brume. 99-118.
[Both Dr Jekyll and professor Challenger test the limitations of the human but Jekyll is involved in an additional semantic area of identity and difference and the psychoanalytic area of the non-unity of the personality. Jekyll is not really a 19th-century scientist (as the chemistry-lab bric-à-brac of film versions shows) and has more of a metaphysical approach. In the end he is more like Faust, while Challenger is the more Promethian.]
Dury, Richard (2003a). ‘The Hand of Hyde’. In Jones (ed.) (2003): 101-116.
[A version of a chapter (‘Variations sur la main de Hyde’) in Jean-Pierre Naugrette (ed.) (1997). Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde. Paris: Autrement.]
Review : Niederhoff (2005).Literatur in Wissenschaft und Unterricht 38.iv: 328 (‘original and instructive’ but could have analysed the motif in S’s novella more extensively).]
Dury, Richard (2003b). ‘Le caractère camp des Nouvelles mille
et une nuits’. In Menegaldo, Gilles & Jean-Pierre Naugrette (eds.). R.
L. Stevenson & A. Conan Doyle. Aventures de la Fiction. Rennes :
Terre de Brume. 119-140.
['Camp' (defined by traits such as exaggerated self-conscious theatricality, self-mockery, winking complicity, and an undermining of the categories of dominant ideology, especially gender distinctions) could be a way to understand this elusive text. A series of camp-like elements were identified at various levels in the text, though it was seen to have a final anxiety that works against the perfectly insouciant pose. Role-playing and performance, however, are important in all Stevenson's works.]
Faivre, Valéry-Pierre (2003). ‘Pouvoirs
d’envoûtements de la description dans les récits fantastiques de Doyle et de
Stevenson’. In Menegaldo, Gilles & Jean-Pierre Naugrette (eds.). R. L. Stevenson &
A. Conan Doyle. Aventures de la Fiction. Rennes : Terre de Brume. 189-212.
[The author looks at the similar ‘power to fascinate’ of descriptions in fantastic narratives by Stevenson (‘The Merry Men’, 1882, and ‘Olalla’, 1885) and Doyle (‘The Man from Archangel’ and The Surgeon of Gaster Fell, 1885). (i) the narrator/protagonist translates perceptions (often from above) into descriptions, wanders in weather and landscape, but often has an imperfect or unclear view, tries to see at night or low light, or has a perception altered by pyschological states (helping to create the incertitude associated with the fantastic). (ii) The contrast between the indistinct and the isolated sharp detail, or the sudden illumination of a scene, helps to create an effect of ‘phantasmagoria’ in the reader (sometimes also presented in the mind of the narrator). (iii) Details may be enigmatic, or of the kind that change the ‘reading’ of the situation. (iv) Descriptions also fascinate by the way the important detail is kept till last (imitating the sequence of the view or the attempted suppression of the frightening). (v) Descriptions in Stevenson and Doyle sometimes ‘paralyse’, but at other times cause a reaction; often they are short passages forming a repeated sequence, sometimes organized in crescendo (as the views from Aros in ‘MM’). This alteration of suggestion and revelation, repetition and the unexpected creates a ‘misty clearness’ (‘Olalla’) in which the enigmatic detail stands out like a subliminal image.]
Furth, Leslie (2003). ‘A Domestic Episode: John Singer Sargent and Robert Louis Stevenson’. In ‘Imaging Transgression: Subversions of the Victorian Norm in the Work of Thomas Satterwhite Noble, John Singer Sargent and John White Alexander’. PhD diss., Boston University, 2003.
Garrett, Peter K. (2003). Gothic Reflections: Narrative Force in
Nineteenth-Century Fiction. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
[‘Garrett . . . shows how the great nineteenth-century monster stories Frankenstein, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and Dracula self-consciously link the extremity and isolation of their deviant figures with the social groups they confront. These narratives, he argues, move from a Romantic concern with individual creation and responsibility to a Victorian affirmation of social solidarity that also reveals its dependence on the binding force of exclusionary violence.’]
Giglioni, Cinzia (2003). ‘Il sottile confine tra saggistica e narrativa:
Robert Louis Stevenson e i saggi ‘avventurosi’’ [‘The thin divide between
essays and narrative fiction: Robert Louis Stevenson and the ‘adventurous’
essays’]. Pagetti, Carlo & Francesca Orestano (a cura di) (2003). Il
gioco dei cerchi concentrici. Milano: Unicopli. Pp. 113-103.
[All through Stevenson’s career there was a mutual exchange between essays and fiction: the essays (which he continued to write all his life) contain brief narratives, scenes are described as though just accompaniments to incident. The Villon tale and essay were written in the same period and are clearly related, as are ‘The Sire de Malétroit’s Door’ and the essay on Charles d’Orleans. ‘The Pavilion on the Links’ and ‘Memories of an Islet’ also contain various marks of affinity. Stories and essays have a similarity of lexis, style, and dialogic relationship with the reader. Although critics in the past have presented his essays as apprentice work mainly of value for the light they cast on his narratives, in both essays and fiction we can see the same emphasis on the pleasure of the text, the same stylistic use of omission and the same appeal to deep instincts and desires.]
Guillard, Lauric (2003). ‘Stevenson, Doyle et le mythe de la wilderness’. In Menegaldo, Gilles & Jean-Pierre Naugrette (eds.). R.
L. Stevenson & A. Conan Doyle. Aventures de la Fiction. Rennes :
Terre de Brume. 247-70.
[The ‘wilderness’, a 17th-century Puritan symbolic place of spiritual trial, was used by Americans to contrast with their Civilization; the concept then marries with English gothic modes to give an equivalent of mental chaos and tempting sublime barbarity. References to The Amateur Emigrant, ‘Ticonderoga’, The Master of Ballantrae, The Dynamiter]
Harris, Jason Marc (2003). ‘Robert Louis
Stevenson: Folklore and Imperialism’. English Literature in Transition 46:
[‘Stevenson's folkloric fiction crosses both generic and national boundaries, dazzling the reader with fairy visions of foreign lands while at the same time testing complacent notions of British cultural dominance. Stevenson's South Sea stories, "The Beach of Falesa" and "The Isle of Voices," underscore the unstable power dynamics of British imperialism operating between the "natives" and the Europeans. Further undercutting assumptions of British authority, The Master of Ballantrae displays the conflicted cultural core of the British Empire--divided between the familiar rationalism of England and the exotic supernaturalism of not only India, but Scotland as well. These texts disclose cross-cultural tendencies toward so-called superstition and thereby erode the orderly pretensions of British rule by denying its supposed civilized solidarity; rather than emerging as a queen of reason and progress, Victoria becomes another fetish. This essay reveals how folklore operates as an unstable tool of cultural power that evades any definite colonial containment, simultaneously serving as a subversive weapon against both the imperialists and the colonized.’]
Jaëck, Nathalie (2003). ‘Pathologies de la dissolution: échappatoires
chimiques et musicales chez Dr Jekyll et Sherlock Holmes’. In Menegaldo
& Naugrette (eds.) (2003) :
[Holmes, already a double of Moriarty, illustrates in his transformations Jekyll’s theory of multiplicity of human identity. At the same time we see the progressive dissolution of the realist text in continual change: the narrative structure of Jekyll and Hyde and the Holmes stories are ‘musical’: fragmentary with suggestions of symmetry, new starts and a sense of perpetual ‘becoming’.]
Jolly, Roslyn (2003). ‘ “A whole province of one’s imagination”: on the
friendship between Henry James and Robert Louis Stevenson.’ Heat [Aus.] n.s.5: 177-194.
[An essay on the friendship between RLS and James, focussing especially on James’s yearning for lost contact with his brilliant companion of conversations on art of the Bournemouth years, an his inability at imagining his friend’s new and alien surroundings. In contrast, Stevenson lacks any sense of loss for the London literary world and signs off breezily ‘Wish you could come !’, while James ends his letters with expressions of loss and love.]
Jolly, Roslyn (2003). ‘Robert Louis Stevenson and Samoan History: Crossing the Roman Wall’. John Kucich (ed.) (2003). Fictions of Empire. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.126-133. (Previously published in Bruce Bennett, Jeff Doyle & Satendra Nandan 1996).
Jolly, Roslyn (2003). ‘Stevenson, Robert Louis’ and ‘Samoa’. Jennifer Speak (ed.) (2003). Literature of Travel and Exploration. An Encyclopedia. 3 vols. London: Routledge. ISBN 1-57958-247-8.
Jones, Jr., William B. (ed.) (2003). Robert Louis Stevenson Reconsidered. New Critical Perspectives. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Co.
Jones, Jr., William B. (2003). ‘Forty-Eight Pages and Speech Balloons:
Robert Louis Stevenson in Classics Illustrated’. In Jones (ed) (2003):
[A version of the article published in Steele (ed.) (2000).]
Joyce, Simon (2003). Capital Offences. Geographies of Class and Crime in Victorian London. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press.
[The chapter ‘Lords of the Streets, and Terrors of the Way’ contains the section ‘Stalking the City Streets: Jekyll, Hyde, and Jack the Ripper’ (pp. 164 ff.)]
Lepaludier, Laurent (2003). ‘La
nature humaine, paradigme incertain dans « Olalla » de Stevenson’. In Menegaldo, Gilles & Jean-Pierre Naugrette (eds.). R.
L. Stevenson & A. Conan Doyle. Aventures de la Fiction. Rennes :
Terre de Brume. 231-244.
[Stevenson’s story investigates of what is ‘human’. Felipe and his mother at first represent the non-human: childlike, animal-like, irrational and living through their senses. Yet through love and passion, the narrator discovers the non-human side of himself and himself becomes fascinated by simple perception, is attracted to Olalla, and as a consequence begins to respect and understand the mother. There is thus an enlargement of what can be considered ‘human’ and a uniting of the divine and animality. However, the portrait gallery scene seems to show that the human is transitory and much is determined for the individual by racial transmission, perhaps accompanied by degeneration. At the end of the story, Olalla’s deliberate choice works an original synthesis of Darwinism and Christianity.]
Katherine Bailey (2003a). ‘ “Closer than a Wife”: The Strange Case of Dr.
Jekyll’s Significant Other’. In Jones (ed) (2003): 85-100.
[This essay proposes a new angle on a question frequently asked by modern readers of Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: Do performance adaptations that insert women into the story as sex objects for the male protagonist merely fill in gaps left in the text by Victorian reticence? Or is there some other purpose behind Stevenson's exclusion of women from the bachelor world of Jekyll and his friends, and behind the tale's lack of specificity about the secret night-time pleasures that Jekyll seeks to pursue with impunity in his guise as Hyde?
After briefly reviewing highly defensible interpretations of Jekyll's sexuality offered in film adaptations and published criticism of the text, the essay calls for fresh consideration of Stevenson's well-known statement in a letter to a friend: “The Hypocrite let out the best Hyde--malice, and selfishness and cowardice: and these are the diabolic in man--not this poor wish to have a woman, that they make such a cry about.” This points towards a reading of Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in which Jekyll can be seen as suffering from a moral and psychological pathology rooted not in his sexual practices, but in the prideful, self-defensive, self-isolating secretiveness with which he has since youth concealed pleasures he deemed unsuitable to his chosen image of himself. It is entirely plausible that sexuality in some form indeed constitutes a key part of Jekyll's secret pleasures. However, the aura of sinister mystery surrounding those pleasures in the tale, as well as the “turn towards the monstrous” those pleasures take when put into the hands of Hyde, have by this reading to do with the spiritual evil of conscienceless hypocrisy that Hyde represents, rather than any evil in sexuality itself. Viewed in this framework, the absence of women as love objects in the story becomes even more telling than their absence as sex objects, and it is a fitting nemesis for Jekyll's hubristic solipsism that he ultimately feels himself murderously haunted by a detested partner-self who dwells in him “closer than a wife.” See also note to Linehan in Linehan (ed) 2003]
Linehan, Katherine (2003b). ‘Sex, Secrecy, and Self-Alienation in Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr.
Hyde’. In Katherine
Linehan (ed) (2003). Strange
Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: an authoritative text, backgrounds and
context, performance adaptations, criticism. New York/London: W.W. Norton & Company
(Norton Critical Editions). Pp. 204-213.
[A re-written version of Linehan (2003a). Jekyll’s dilemma is produced by “secrecy and self-alienation […] closed to love’s […] self-integration”. Refers to S’s ‘Lay Morals’.]
Linehan, Katherine (2003c). Two
Unpublished Letters from Robert Louis Stevenson to Thomas Russell
Sullivan’. Notes & Queries 50.iii: 320-323.
[Linehan uncovered three previously-unpublished letters by RLS to Thomas Russell Sullivan in the American Antiquarian Society Library (Worcester, Mass.). One was published in her Norton Critical Edition of JH (2003), the other two are published here for the first time. They show Stevenson’s cordial relationship with Sullivan: the first (7 June 1887) complements Sullivan and Mansfield on the stage version of JH; the second (undated, but between 15 April and 2 May 1888)criticizes the ‘innocent impudence’ of Mansfield in his self-promotion and quoting of S’s letters and conversations without permission. ]
McCulloch, Fiona (2003). ‘ “Playing Double”:
Performing Childhood in Treasure Island’. Scottish Studies Review
4ii: 66-81. Repr. in McCulloch 2004.
[Though Treasure Island has been seen by some critics as deliberately placed in the tradition of earlier fiction, McCulloch stresses its innovative irony and playfulness.
‘The “old romance” is re-told in a self-conscious rather than a realist mode’ (68). Stevenson also mocks the Victorian ‘claim for truth, realism and united selfhood’. The hypocrisy of respectable society is shown by Trelawney’s moral indignation (‘What were these villains after but money?’) followed betrayal of his own motivation (‘We’ll have […] money to eat’) and by Silver’s parodic appeal to ‘dooty’ and his claim to the status of a ‘gentleman of fortune’. Jim’s deception by the stories of Silver also undermines children’s literature by exposing the inequality of author and child reader. Indeed, the author may not have innocent intentions, as we see when both story-teller Bones and Silver fascinate Jim for their own advantage.]
Manguel, Alberto (2003). ‘Postface’. In Menegaldo, Gilles & Jean-Pierre Naugrette
(eds.). R. L. Stevenson & A. Conan Doyle. Aventures de la Fiction.
Rennes : Terre de Brume. 413-7.
[A short comparison of Doyle and Stevenson.]
Massie, Eric (2003).
‘Scottish Gothic: Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Master of Ballantrae, and
The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner’. In Jones
[Striking intertextual connections between the two novels include: a moonlight fight between two brothers; a preserved body rising from an open grave at the end of the text; families divided along politico-religious lines, with the father preferring one son over the other; and allusions to the Devil as an actual presence. ‘James Durie resembles George Colwan in looks and temperament and is cast in the role of Devil incarnate by the Durie family; the description of Henry […] is redolent of the contumacious Robert Wringham’ (165). Ballantrae also ‘mirrors Hogg’s text in its use of multiple layers within which key narrators present personal, indeed biased accounts of events’ (168).]
Menegaldo, Gilles & Jean-Pierre
Naugrette (dir.). 2003. R. L. Stevenson & A. Conan Doyle. Aventures de
la Fiction. (Actes du colloque de Cerisy, 11-18 sett., 2000). Rennes :
Terre de Brume.
[conference report. The volume also contains the following essays not given at the conference, for which see separate entries in this list: Chareyre-Méjan, Faivre, Manguel]
Menegaldo, Gilles (2003). “Deux lectures excentriques du mythe de Jekyll
& Hyde au cinéma: Les deux visages du Dr Jekyll (1960) de Terence
Fisher et Mary Reilly de Stephen
Frears”. In Menegaldo, Gilles & Jean-Pierre Naugrette (eds.). R. L.
Stevenson & A. Conan Doyle. Aventures de la Fiction. Rennes :
Terre de Brume. 367-91.
[A study of the two films in relation to Stevenson’s text and to the cinema tradition. Unlike in other film versions Paul Massie’s Jekyll in Fishers 1960 film is not the charming philanthropist, but is quite old and already socially marginalized, while his Hyde is suave, young and clean-shaven, not in the ape-man tradition. The acts of Hyde are mainly caused by vengeance, hence to ‘restore order’. The mirror scene works a series of Jekyll/Hyde combinations of subject, reflection and voice-over. The interesting opening title sequence of Stephen Frears’ Mary Reilly creates oppositions of Mary:Jekyll, cloth:leather, hand:foot, flesh:metal, mud:shining name-plate. Space is an important component of the film: hierarchic interior space (which Mary disturbs), the circulation between interior and exterior, and of course the striking Piranesian laboratory created by Stuart Craig. In this ‘literary’ film there are many rapid ‘mentions’, similarities, metonymies and indeterminacy (e.g. the strange shadows on the cabinet roof).]
Menikoff, Barry (2003). ‘Prayers at Sunset’. In Jones (ed.) (2003). 209-12.
[The versatile and ever-innovative Stevenson had reached artistic maturity in his years in Samoa, ‘But what of the Prayers that Stevenson delivered at Vailima?’ In language redolent of the Psalms and Shakespeare but also characterized by Stevenson’s calculated brevity, they ask for rest, celebrate kindliness and encourage stoical endurance in the face of a very modern view of human existence.]
Naugrette, Jean-Pierre (2003). ‘Mirando Haz, illustrateur de R. L.
Anglaises 56(1) :
[A report on the series of forty etchings by Mirando Haz (Amedeo Pieragostini) dedicated to Stevenson and in particular Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Haz transposes the tale into Victorian interiors with mirrors, fireplaces, candelabras etc., where the characters and their shadows proliferate. Many of these highly intertextual images with their mis-en-abyme framings include the artist himself, or rather Mirando Haz, the real creator, for whom ‘Amedeo Pieragostini’ is perhaps only the pseudonym.]
Naugrette, Jean-Pierre (2003). ‘Vingt propositions pour ne pas aller à
Samoa’. Revue des deux mondes (avril 2003) : 171-75.
[On the occasion of a recent edition of the Œuvres of Marcel Schwob, Jean-Pierre Naugrette gives us an entertaining list of the cultural diffusion of fascination in Stevenson in Samoa and particularly in Stevenson buried on top of Mount Vaea: Tabucchi’s dream of Stevenson’s dream, Tennessee Williams indicating Vailima as a model for the house in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, pilgrimages to the tomb by Jack London, Hugo Pratt and Nick Rankin, Kipling’s frustrated visit, Schwob’s journey to Samoa, his disappointment, very serious illness and lack of mention of Vailima or the tomb, Pericoli’s dream images…]
Naugrette, Jean-Pierre (2003).[review of Richard Ambrosini (2001). R. L. Stevenson: la
poetica del romanzo]. Literary
Research / Recherche littéraire 19(37-38) : 352-55.
[Ambrosini’s thesis is of a continuity between Stevenson’s fiction and his writings (essays and letters) in which he speaks of literary theory. This works particularly well in the chapter on Treasure Island and the two essays that ‘frame’ it: ‘A Gossip on Romance’ and ‘A Humble Remonstrance’. Naugrette remarks, however, that Stevenson sometimes uses ‘theory’ simply to mean ‘idea’ or ‘hypothesis’ rather than ‘explanatory system’ and that sometimes the explanations come after rather than before. For Naugrette, Stevenson is perhaps more interested in ‘method’, and ‘his essay “On Some Technical Elements . . .” lays the foundations, no less, for modern stylistics’ (354). The high point of the book is perhaps the chapter on Ballantrae (which ‘Ambrosini rightly sees . . . as Stevenson’s masterpiece’), a work moving already in the direction of metafiction where ‘the analysis . . . as “colonial novel” is masterful’ (354).]
Naugrette, Jean-Pierre (2003). ‘Stevenson, Doyle : en regard, au
miroir’ In Menegaldo, Gilles & Jean-Pierre Naugrette (eds.). R. L.
Stevenson & A. Conan Doyle. Aventures de la Fiction. Rennes :
Terre de Brume. 25-58.
[Traces the common and mutual literary influences of the two writer, identifies their affinities (the focus on the irruption of troubling strangeness, the importance given to strange clues and tell-tale images, their common interest in the fantastic) and their differences (Stevenson’s more advanced views on racial tolerance and his interiorised fantastic against Doyle’s portrayal of cosmic and generalized danger).]
Pamboukian, Sylvia Amy (2003).
‘Industrial light and magic: Popular science, technology, and the occult in the
late Victorian period’. PhD thesis from Indiana University
[Chapter 3 ‘Technology and the Gothic Doctor’ deals with the mergence of ‘the evil scientist-doctor’ as a result of nineteenth-century advances in medical science and makes reference to RLS.]
Picot, Jean-Pierre (2003). ‘Cartes, Plans,
schemas, marge et images chez Stevenson et Conan Doyle’. In Menegaldo, Gilles
& Jean-Pierre Naugrette (eds.). R. L. Stevenson & A. Conan Doyle.
Aventures de la Fiction. Rennes : Terre de Brume. 271-292.
[The Treasure Island map, compared by Stevenson to ‘a fat dragon’, is certainly animal-like: two legs and a suggestion of an arm or wing, a head to the north with a mountain like an eye, the swamp (where the Pirates set up camp) and narrow channel to the south seeming slightly anal, the narrow pointed ‘leg’ in the east reminiscent of Silver.]
Pierce, Jason A.
(2003). ‘ “The Damned Thing in Boards and a Ticket on Its Behind”: Stevenson’s
First Book, An Inland Voyage. In Jones (2003): 127-39.
[Pierce places Stevenson’s Inland Voyage (1878) in the context of contemporary travel writing: (i) Thomas Rolls Warrington & George Smyth Baden Powell, ‘The Log of the ‘Nautilus’ and ‘Isis’ Canoes’ (Cornhill Magazine, 1870), in which the two travellers refer to each other by the names of their canoes, a trope borrowed by Stevenson; (ii) James Lynam Molloy, Our Autumn Holiday on French Rivers (1876), recording the jaunt of four educated young men in an outrigger canoe; (iii) William Moëns, Through France and Belgium, by River and Canal, in the Steam Yacht ‘Ytene’ (1876). All these accounts are of isolated travelling groups of privileged English people, interested in tourist sites but relatively uninterested in human surroundings. In contrast, Stevenson shows an interest in the people he meets and interacts with them, and also (being for much of the time effectively apart from his travelling companion) presents himself as an interesting character in his own right. His willing acceptance of the role of peddler and his thoughts on the merits of working-class life would have been seen as a threat by middle-class readers, where other travel writers marked their social superiority to those they met. The lukewarm reception of the book and its slow sales may be explained by this unconventional class ideology as well by its distance from the conventions of contemporary travel writing.]
Sandison, Alan (2003). ‘A World Made for Liars:
Stevenson’s Dynamiter and the Death of the Real’. In Jones (ed.) (2003). 140-62.
[This study begins with a resumé of the activities of Continental ‘dynamiters’ and Irish Fenians in the last quarter of the nineteenth century. Stevenson includes bomb-throwers in The Dynamiter as one more absurd phenomenon in an absurd modern world. By doing so, Stevenson subverts both orders of reality -- the fictional and the non-fictional. A glance at the activities of the real-life anarchists or Fenians shows how ambiguous their reality is and how meaningless their activity without some kind of narrative embellishment. From the opening pages of The Dynamiter the pursuit of truth is relentlessly guyed and Stevenson involves the dynamiters in his burlesque precisely to dispel any notion of the writer as someone uniquely able to represent reality. This is not to asperse the novelist as a teller of insightful tales, but it is a reminder that such fiction has little to do with the discovery of truth and reality.]
Scholz, Susanne (2003). Kulturpathologien: Die “seltsamen Fälle” von Dr. Jekyll und Mr. Hyde und Jack the Ripper. Paderborn: Rektorat der Universit:ät (Paderborner Universitätsreden ; 88). 32 pp.
Steele, Karen (2003). 'Discovering Mr
Stevenson: A Personal Chronicle’. In Jones (ed.) (2003). 238-46.
[After the chance discovery of Stevenson on a journey around the islands of the South Pacific, Karen Steele follows In the South Seas and is gradually drawn into the fascinating life and personality that is Stevenson. From Samoa, for ten years, she follows his tracks from Edinburgh to California and France; to museums and libraries, learning about his writings and the importance of his letters. She tells how he inspires her to fulfil a dream by starting to write, and explains the password ‘Stevenson’ that opens doors to friendship around the world.]
Stevenson, Fanny Van de Grift (ed. Roslyn
Jolly) (2003). The Cruise of the ‘Janet Nichol’ among the South Sea Islands.
Sydney: University of New South Wales Press. Also University of Washington
[‘The book presents the text of the 1890 diary as revised by Fanny for publication in 1914, with the addition of a substantial introduction plus explanatory notes and recommended reading. It is lavishly illustrated with photographs taken on the cruise, some previously published in the 1914 edition, many published here for the first time.’]
Thomson, Belinda (2003). ‘A Frenchman and a Scot in the South Seas: Paul
Gauguin and Robert Louis Stevenson’. Van Gogh Museum Journal (2003):
[It was Gauguin’s meeting with Van Gogh that probably inspired him to travel to the South Seas. Stevenson had nothing to do with the matter. See also Thompson 2001]
Tulloch, Graham (2003). ‘Stevenson
and Islands: Scotland and the South Pacific’. In Jones (ed) (2003): 68-82.
[There is a fundamental change in Stevenson's imaginative conception of islands after he reaches the South Seas. Before his South Pacific experience the Hebridian island of Earraid provided his imaginative model, even for the supposedly Caribbean setting of Treasure Island. However, after Stevenson had experienced the islands of the South Pacific a new kind of imagined island entered his fiction.]
Turnbull, Olena M.
(2003). ‘The Squire and the Gamekeeper: RLS and Miss Adelaide Boodle’. In Jones
[An account of Adelaide Boodle, Stevenson’s Bournemouth neighbour. On the basis of RLS and His Sine Qua Non (1926), Austin Strong’s Introduction to this volume and Stevenson’s letters, Turnbull reconstructs Adelaide Boodle’s character and the relationship with Stevenson.]
Ambrosini, Richard (2002). ‘“Painting and Words”: Landscape-Writing in R.L. Stevenson’s
Literary Apprenticeship and Early Essays’. Merope [Pescara,
Italy] 14 (35-36): 179-204.
[Stevenson’s narrative works need to be seen in ‘the context of his entire fictional and non-fictional output’ [the subject of Ambrosini’s 2001 monograph R.L. Stevenson: la poetica del romanzo] and it is in his early pieces of ‘landscape writing’ that we can see the germ of his future poetics. He admits to an apprenticeship of imitation in ‘A College Magazine’ (1887), but also to freer exercises in ‘description’, ‘dramatic dialogues’ and ‘conversations’; and one of the two books he always carried with him were ‘to note down the features of the scene’. In one of these notebooks we find the fragment ‘Painting and Words’, which explores the relative merits of the sister arts and describes the scene before him. Another experimental piece from the same period is ‘Night outside the Wick Mail’ (1868, contained in a letter to his cousin Bob).
These exercises in ‘landscape writing’ soon came up against a conflict between description and a self-reflective stance—resolved in his later ‘travel writing’ when he abandoned the description of landscape and (i) focussed on subjective impression (filtered by memory) of ‘a semi-fictional persona’ (203), and (ii) took landscape ‘as a background for people’. Already in his first published essay ‘Roads’ (1873) he is adapting his early poetics to travel writing in his remarks on the value of filtered impressions (elaborated in later writings).
His first three Portfolio essays (‘Roads’, ‘Young Children’, ‘Unpleasant Places’) belonged to project (described in a letter to Colvin) for a series of essays ‘on the enjoyment of the world’. This idea then develops after the watershed American experience of 1879-80, when, with the same aim of ‘creating pleasure’ but a keener understanding of his readers, he decides to create his own fictional worlds of narrative. ]
(2002). ‘Robert Louis Stevenson’s Travels with a Donkey in the Cévennes:
an Initiatory Journey’. Maîtrise dissertation, University of Caen. Available in
Caen University Library, The British Library and the National Library of
[Travels with a Donkey is triptych: Ch. 1-9 (uphill: a physical and religious trial), Ch. 10 (idyllic ‘Night among the Pines’ and the highest physical point of the journey), Ch. 11-18 (downhill into more welcoming country). By grouping Ch. 7 and 8 together (both dedicated to Our Lady of the Snows) André also identifies a chapter-by-chapter symmetry and correspondence of the first and third parts of the text (e.g. Ch. 4 and 15: camps in the dark; 5 and 14: towns; 6 and 13: meeting a new ‘brother’; 7/8 and 12: religions; 9 and 11: crossing two passes). ‘Travels with a Donkey is a journey into poetry and its relationship with feelings and deep inner emotions, a complex interweaving of nature and the human soul, a subtle alloy of, and dialogue between, inner and outer landscapes’ (63). Even the structure of individual chapters and paragraphs shows Stevenson’s stylistic artistry and the work as a whole can be seen as his masterpiece.]
Banfield, M.A. (2002). The Health
Biographies Of Alexander Leeper, Robert Louis Stevenson, And Fanny Stevenson.
Modbury, S Aust.: M.A. Banfield.
[further information; in the RLS section he discusses (1) weak chested Stevenson family, (2) gangly physique, (3) neurosis, (4) tuberculosis, (5) cause of death; in the Fanny section (1) hypochondria, (2) mental breakdown]
Colley, Ann C. (2002). ‘Stevenson’s Pyjamas’. Victorian Literature and
Culture (2002): 129-55.
[A study of the meaning of clothes to Stevenson in the South Seas; ‘his rather idiosyncratic relation to his clothes… [and] how clothing becomes an integral part of the ways in which we relate to ourselves, our surroundings and our mortality’. For missionaries in the South Seas clothing was a focus for measuring moral progrss, but Western residents also came under close scrutiny: many observers remarked on Stevenson’s Bohemian ‘undress’, dangerous signs of ‘going native’: garlandsof flowers round his head (a practice discouraged among natives by missionaries), loose pyjama suit and bare feet showed that he had crossed a boundary between the civilized and the uncivilized – a threatening repudiation of Western culture. When necessary, however, he dressed more formally in boots, breeches and red sash (a sign of royalty in the Pacific): these portrayed him as a figure of authority, and were also (like the velvet jackets) a way of projecting desires. (Another kind of dressing up, a photo of Lloyd in barelegged native dress, seems a disturbing attempt at parody.) Finally his neat clothing in the last photographs shows an affirmation of life, as do his desires to die with his clothes and boots on.]
Costantini, Mariaconcetta (2002). ‘Stevenson’s South Seas’. Merope [Pescara, Italy]
14 (35-36); 205-31.
[Stevenson dissociates himself from the Victorian mainstream in his experiments with language and spatial representation. His exotic settings reveal the evils of imperialism and also illustrate the modern condition of bewilderment.
Rejecting monologistic colonialist ideology, he tries instead to represent ‘a multi-cultural and complex reality’: In his letters he portrays the forest ‘as a locus of dangerous pleasures’ and ‘abandons himself to its seductions’. In ‘The Woodman’ (a post-Darwinian poem composed at Vailima) he questions the antithesis culture/nature (one of the main tenets of Victorian colonialism) and equates man and beast.
While the landscape in Treasure Island is still seen from a Western point-of-view; in ‘Falesá’, the imperialistic assumptions of the narrator are shaken and he yields to growing interest in his surroundings. The characters do not coform to the ‘types’ used to validate colonial ideologies (Uma, for example, is neither expendable victim, abandoned to maintain the hero’s racial integrity, nor dangerous femme fatale).
In The Ebb-Tide natives are not innately savage and Westerners are not bringers of progress and civilization. Even the ambiguity of the ending can be seen as a criticisism of ideology that promotes a single truth. Stevenson pursues ‘historical, culural and geographical objectivity’ in various ways: (i) by describing a process of contamination, the Farallone becoming ‘a symbol of the ills of colonialism’; (ii) in the detailed description of Attwater’s island, which give a realistic and disquieting picture of the Pacific world; (iii) through the ironic juxaposition of different visual attitudes (Herrick’s ecstatic contemplation of the lagoon compared with the controlling scrutiny of Davis), and by giving an ironic colouring to Herrick’s words: his inadequate idealistic vision, his attempt, shared with Attwater, to understand the Pacific in terms of classical literature. Attwater, however, uses deliberately vague language as a power-strategy, while Herrick (like the author) searches for ways to describe his new experience.]
Davidson, J.K. (2002). ‘Black Dog and Billy
Bones return – to the golf course’. The RLS Club News [RLS Club,
Edinburgh] 19 (Sept. 2002): 2
[Similar to Davidson (1999)]
Farr, Liz (2002). ‘Stevenson’s Picturesque Excursions:
The Art of Youthful Vagrancy’. Nineteenth-Century Prose (special number:
‘The Picturesque in the Nineteenth Century’) 29ii: 197-225.
[Explores the ways in which Stevenson attempted to reformulate the late-eighteenth-century picturesque in his essays and travel writings. Although his essays were tailored to suit the particular periodical audiences he sought to address, most notably those of the Cornhill and Portfolio magazines, the picturesque emerges in Stevenson’s work as a significant vehicle by which he attempted to promote a form of late-nineteenth century aestheticism and a bohemian rebellion against the constraints of modern life.
By taking advantage of the growing popularity of travel as a form of recreation, Stevenson was able to reformulate the picturesque according to late-nineteenth century psychological models of aesthetics to propose ways in which a middle-class young man might enact forms of subjective agency and experience the pleasures of unstructured wandering before being forced to travel on the undeviatingly narrow road to a professional career, marriage and death.
Although he was to a certain extent indebted to Ruskin, who had earlier attempted to educate the middle-class traveller socially and aesthetically, Stevenson’s interest was differently motivated. While Ruskin had attempted to promote a form of excursive sight that might take account of the suffering of ruined, and therefore picturesque, figures, Stevenson’s essays force his middle-class readers to turn their gaze back upon themselves. By enacting a form of class-transvestism, Stevenson staged his own affiliation with the poor primarily to give voice to desires for aesthetic agency and freedom from the constraints of modern bourgeois life.]
Gibson, Brian (2002). ‘One Man is an
Island: Natural Landscape Imagery in Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure
Island’. The Victorian Newsletter (Spring 2002): 12-21.
[In the first part of the book, landscape and weather are used in a conventional Romantic way to establish mood and foreshadow action (e.g. the stormy nights accompanying frightening developments in the plot), though even here there is ambiguity: the moon becomes a threatening sentinel associated with the pirates and the darkness becomes the friend of the protagonist. When the action moves to Treasure Island its sinister landscape is associated with troubling independence from conventional moral codes. Jim’s shore adventure is accompanied by ‘continuous thunder of the surf’, which remains a frightening memory at the end of the book, reminding him of his passage from childhood to adulthood when he experienced utter solitude and realized that the environment is an unforgiving, relentless, everpresent force. ]
Gillespie, Gerald (2002). In Search of the Noble Savage: Some Romantic Cases’. Neohelicon
[Stevenson and Paul Gauguin were contemporaries. In the light of the former’s relative integration in the South Sea world, the latter’s struggle to find a natural paradise there is all the more poignant.]
Gray, William (2002). ‘Stevenson’s “Auld
Alliance”: France, Art Theory and the Breath of Money in The Wrecker’. Scottish
Studies Review 3ii (autumn 2002): 54-65.
[In The Wrecker Stevenson repeatedly disrupts easy distinctions between art and life: in the Epilogue addressed to Will H. Low, the characters in the novel are referred to as if real-life contemporaries, while the novel itself narrates many episodes from the bohemian life of Stevenson and Low in France. Chapter 31, entitled ‘Face to Face’, could even include an appearance of Stevenson in his own work (though we are not told which of the Stennis boys it is). Yet while these metafictional games bring fiction into life and life into fiction, the art-for-art’s-sake character of Loudon Dodd would presumably not approve.
The Pinkerton and Dodd relationship gives expression to Stevenson’s ambivalence towards ‘art for art’s sake’: though he was aware that he had to earn money to live, he considers the formal qualities of art to be of central importance; he wrote this pot-boiler, in order to write more artistic works like The Ebb-Tide, banking on the public interest in his life; while for Pinkerton ‘reality was a romance’ to be found in the balance sheet and the battleground of the commodity markets, Dodd says ‘Every man has his own romance: mine clustered exclusively about the practise of the arts’.
In ‘Fontainbleau’ Stevenson says that ‘art is, first of all, a trade... the artist... first plays with his material as a child plays with a kaleidoscope’. In The Wrecker, however, this formalistic aesthetic is playfully subverted in the scenes set, ironically, in Barbizon, where Dodd starts with a formalistic appraisal of Carthew’s painting in Siron’s Inn, only to become fascinated by its familiar referential content, as the painting itself seems to come alive (the smoke of the steamer described as if suddenly appearing). Stevenson’s clear distinction in ‘A Humble Remonstrance’ between Life (‘monstrous, infinite, illogical, abrupt and poignant’) and a work of art (‘neat, finite, self-contained, rational, flowing and emasculate’) seems to be called into the question by The Wrecker which seems a monstrous, illogical and abrupt metafiction about the relation between the brute energy of life and the pleasant charms of Bohemia.
Le Bris says Stevenson had to overcome the Bohemian pose in order to become a real writer, he had to ‘to kill in himself his cousin Bob’: so the aesthete Stennis departs abruptly from the final scene, after which the narrator in the Epilogue finally overturns any ideal separation of art and life.]
Green, Jared Fredric (2002). ‘White primitives:
The ethnography of class in the late-Victorian city’. PhD dissertation at Brown
University (AAT 3050893). Esp. Ch. 4: ‘Out of Enlightenment, into Darkest London:
Monogenesis, Degeneration and The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’,
[This dissertation queries the interrelationship between anthropological discourse and urban narratives in late-nineteenth century British literature and visual culture. What I have chosen to call the “white primitive” is the product of British social theory’s attempt to transform the already-available sign-system of race into an equally irrefutable semiotics of class. I use the figure of the white primitive to challenge the stubborn critical assumption that the city encountered by the Victorian urban explorer, Henry Mayhew, is virtually the same cultural construct as the city of the modernists.
Central to the argument for the unique cultural landscape of the late-Victorian city is my explanation of how ethnographic descriptions of the city arose in response to changes in immigration and the enervated project of colonialism. I look at the analogy between race and class as drawn by late nineteenth-century ethnographers and “social explorers” (from E. B. Tylor and Herbert Spencer to Charles and William Booth, Gustave Le Bon and Francis Galton). I find that their peculiar amalgam of Darwinist evolutionary theory and anthropometry informed the way Victorians thought about many of the inhabitants of London as well as the peoples newly incorporated at the peripheries of Empire.
Next, I examine a number of interrelated literary narratives--including those of H. M. Stanley, Bram Stoker, Robert Louis Stevenson and H. G. Wells--alongside photography, print advertising, and the early cinema. Together, I argue, these representations constitute the diffuse and variegated spectacle by which the British Empire defined and promulgated its privileged domestic subject, the middle-class consumer. ]
Haz, Mirando [Amedeo
Pieragostini] (2002). Dr.
Jekyll Mr. Hyde and Company Trezzo sull’Adda (Italy): privately printed (available from the author
at Via Nullo 9, Bergamo, Italy).
[catalogue of the exhibition of 40 etchings with the same title at Gargnano (Italy), 26-29 August 2002; includes reproductions of 33 of the series of etchings and short essays on Haz and Stevenson by Gillo Dorfles, Giorgio Cerruti, Richard Dury, Marco Fragonara and Richard Ambrosini]
Imlah, Mick (2002). ‘Where the whaups are
crying. S.R. Crockett and the “grey Galloway land”‘. TLS 18 October
[Stevenson’s correspondence with Crockett and the relationship between the two; the influence of Stevenson’s work on The Raiders (1894).]
Massie, Eric (2002). ‘Stevenson, Conrad
and the Proto-Modernist Novel’. PhD thesis, Univ of Stirling.
[Stevenson’s South Seas writings locate him alongside Conrad on the ‘strategic fault line’, described by the Marxist critic Fredric Jameson, that delineates the area between nineteenth-century adventure fiction and early Modernism. Stevenson, like Conrad, mounts an attack on the assumptions of the grand narrative of imperialism and, in texts such as ‘The Beach of Falesa’ and The Ebb Tide, offers late-Victorian readers a critical view of the workings of Empire. The thesis analyses the common interests of two important writers as they adopt innovative literary methodologies within, and in response to, the context of changing perceptions of the effects of European influence upon the colonial subject.]
Mazzucco-Than, Cecile (2002). A Form Foredoomed to Looseness: Henry
James’s Preoccupation with Gender in Fiction. New York/Bern/etc.: Peter
[A close examination of the adjectives and metaphors used by James in particular to describe fiction – but also Stevenson, Howells and others – reveals a gendered account of the art of fiction and places the modern novel in the context of changing social roles of men and women.]
Naugrette, Jean-Pierre (2002). ‘The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr
Hyde est-il un roman policier?’. Confluences [Université Paris
X-Nanterre] 20 (special number: ‘Les littératures de genre’): 85-111.
[The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (especially ch. 4) can be seen as a detective story - this is the thesis of Scholar (1998), justifying the choice of affaire in the French translation of the title. He also cites Borges’ idea that two actors should be used in film versions, to recreate the original readers’ expectations that they were reading a police ‘case’ of two separate beings. That the text enters the realm of the fantastic is no problem, as Sherlock Holmes stories and shilling shockers also partly occupied both areas.
However, Borges specifies that JH is only ‘read as’ or ‘pretends to be’ a detective story. Such reading cannot be translated into an intentio operis because it is challenged by other aspects: (i) the ‘case’ of the reframing last chapter is not a police case but a ‘case history’; (ii) the disturbing phenomena of the tale involve a mixed police case and a medical/psychological/paranormal case, a mixture also found in Doyle, however, Doyle’s strangeness never goes as far as fantastic metamorphosis and Utterson is not in the same position as Holmes – he thinks he’s in a detective story, but he’s actually in a case study, and he never gets a complete view of events because in the end he merges with the reader; (iii) the title would have given no certitude of clear duality to its first readers and they, encouraged to interpret, would have been able to see many indications of the unrealistic as they read through the text; (iv) the expected final resolution is undermined by the first-person ‘confession’ by the guilty party, claiming to explain the metamorphosis while repeatedly metamorphosing itself from first to third person; (v) the Carew murder (which seems to involve Utterson – so also the reader) remains unexplained and unmotivated at the end.
Postmodern writers (Naugrette included) like to play with the detective story’s highly-ordered form and foregrounding of plot and narrative. Stevenson too, no dupe of genres, likes to manipulate forms and cultivates the pleasure of the suspended meaning that remains suspended.]
Panjabi, Gita Cecilia (2002). 'Investigative fictions: Criminal
anthropology and the nineteenth-century mystery novel, 1860-1913’. PhD
dissertation at New York University.
[“Investigative Fictions: Victorian Mystery Novels and the Science of Criminal Anthropology, 1860-1913” compares representations of the criminal in late nineteenth-century popular fiction and the emerging science of criminal anthropology. Putting crime at the center of their respective projects, scientists and novelists created narratives in which the criminal signaled a crisis of social stability: from increased fraud to impersonation to murder, sensational criminal acts threatened to overturn received assumptions about gender, race, and class identity.
While the criminal’s presence in these texts inevitably indicates a social breakdown, I show that grappling with criminals often provoked scientists and novelists to mobilize innovative narrative forms that sought to recuperate the loss the criminal represents. For criminal anthropologists, recuperation of this loss involved devising new types of scientific investigation; Victorian novelists responded to the management strategies scientists proposed by adapting, deliberately ignoring, or rejecting the narrative paradigms that underwrote investigative techniques. In creating their own “investigative fictions” to solve the problems that criminals posed, novelists devised narrative modes that could apprehend the criminal and bring about textual closure.
Reading these discourses in relationship to one another contributes to an understanding of the way in which mystery novels produce their own epistemological systems or ways of knowing. Through a comparison of these two kinds of texts, I argue that novelistic representations of criminals are not so much reflections on the failures of Victorian society at large as opportunities to develop novelistic interrogations of personal identity, progress, and perception. Among the texts this dissertation considers are Wilkie Collins’s The Moonstone and Armadale, Mary Elizabeth Braddon’s Henry Dunbar and Lady Audley’s Secret, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, R. L. Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, as well as short stories by Arthur Conan Doyle. In addition, I read these novels with and against numerous texts from the science of criminal anthropology, as articulated in literature on fingerprinting, anthropometrics, photography, psychology, biology, ethnology, archeology, and the museum, all of which contribute to the strategic management of the Victorian criminal.]
Lawrence, (2002). ‘The Negotiation of Colonial Identities in the Writings of
Robert Louis Stevenson and Jack London’. PhD thesis, Goldsmiths College,
University of London.
[While sensitive to postcolonial criticism, methodologically this research focuses on attempts by authors to apply, challenge and confound key colonial presumptions during the period 1880 to 1914. The study ranges across the construction of race, class and identity through a series of detailed close readings that are also strongly linked to the historical, cultural, and personal contexts under which they were written. The study explores widely held colonial constructions of race, class and the moral underpinning of Anglo-American imperialism in relation to the particularity of the colonial locale and colonial practice in which Stevenson and London are participators and/or observers, and to follow how this is translated into their works of travel and fiction. The contrasts and similarities between an established British imperialism and the newly emergent American empire following the Spanish-American War of 1898 is pursued throughout the thesis.]
Rennie, Alastair (2002). Stevenson, Frye and the Structure of Romance. PhD
thesis, Edinburgh University, 2002.
[“Stevenson, Frye and the Structure of Romance looks at the work of Robert Louis Stevenson in the context of Northrop Frye’s theory of archetypes and at the operations of the conventions of romance in relation to structuralist and post-structuralist theories of narrative. It proposes the unsustainability of the traditional or institutionalised model of romance provided by Frye and considers, through Stevenson’s essays and fictions, the development of romance as a modern idiom. Using Frye’s ideas as a basis for further study, this thesis seeks to demonstrate that romance is a progressive rather than conservative mode of fiction. Through the ideas expressed by Stevenson in his various guises as an author and theorist, it presents a theory of romance as a genre in which the functions of narrative undergo their most radical shifts and deviations from the conventional bases of form.
Following the lead of his essays, it is shown that Stevenson’s romances deliberately set in motion a system of conventional elements which, while they produce a dynamic narrative structure, tend also to exceed the sustainable limits of the structures they are engaged in. By no means aimless, these activities represent an attempt by Stevenson to recreate ‘the certain almost sensual and quite illogical tendencies in man’(‘A Humble Remonstance’) which, he says, occasion the formation of romance, but which are paradoxically incompatible with the logical conditions of romance as a conventional mechanism. Consequently, it is demonstrated that, if Frye represents the culmination of romance as a ‘tradition’ (or a point at which the structure of romance can be audited and catalogued as a tradition), Stevenson, acting prior to Frye, represents a point at which the underlying assumptions of this tradition are preclusively denied.”
Chapters: The Cosmology of Romance I, II; The Genealogy of Romance I, II; The Inversion of the Quest: Will o’ the Mill; The ‘Mobile Nature at Our Feet’: The Ebb-Tide; Conclusion: Ulterior Motives: ‘The Language of Romance’.+
Vanon Alliata, Michela (2002). ‘”Il diavolo nella
bottiglia”: la maledizione faustiana nel fantastico esotico di R.L. Stevenson’
[‘“The Bottle Imp”: the Faustian curse in the Esotic Fantastic of R.L.
Stevenson’. Vanon Alliata, Michela (a cura di) (2002). Desiderio e
trasgressione nella letteratura fantastica. Venezia: Fondazione Giorgio
Cini/Marsilio. Pp. 109-126.
[‘The Bottle Imp’ does not clearly belong to one single genre but lies at the intersection of the fantastic, the fable and the novel tradition. All three tales in Island Nights’ Entertainments share features of oral narration (the reference to places known by the listener, the repetition of names, the direct appeal to the listener). In contrast to the other two tales (which are realistic narratives), however, BI also contains several themes and tropes associated with fantastic tales and its general structure is that of the fable. (One could say that Stevenson found a natural affinity with the style and structure of the fable, its economy, linearity, lightness and rapidity.)
Although the motor of the narrative is the (puritanical) fable-like symbolic conflict between virtue and transgression (Keawe’s leprosy arriving on the eve of his wedding day can be seen as divine retribution) Keawe’s ingenuity, curiosity and youth fits better into the context of the Bildungsroman, and the magic bottle from the world of fantasy plays its part in the growth and maturity of the protagonist.
The devil can be seen as a fantastic-tale double and a representation of the unconscious of the protagonist (his desires and even self-destructive drives), yet Keawe does not end up as a divided doubles-story protagonist, but acquires new wisdom.
Stevenson’s story places the supernatural in a realistic context: the contrasting worlds of the South Seas and the surrounding corrupt world of the white man, the convincingly realistic fear of illness and death - and the love attained at the end is no conventional formula, but a love [like that of Wiltshire and Uma] experienced among the familiar sufferings and uncertainties of the world.]
Webb, Jean (2002). ‘Conceptualising Childhood: Robert Louis Stevenson’s A Child’s
Garden of Verses’. Cambridge Journal of Education 32iii: 359-65.
[The paper discusses the construct of childhood in Robert Louis Stevenson’s collection of poems, ‘A Child’s Garden of Verses’, by employing notions of child development drawn from Piaget and Vygotsky. From a literary perspective Stevenson’s collection is located on the boundaries of Romanticism and Modernism.]
Wilson, A.N. (2002). ‘Long John
Silver and his parrot – what treasures’. The Daily Telegraph 19/8/02: 21
[‘End Column… World of Books’].
[‘Even the wooden first paragraph is hypnotic… Creative writing schools would have advised Stevenson to start the book with the arresting second paragraph – “I remember him as if it were yesterday […].” They would be wrong. Not only does the opening paragraph tell us all we need to know about the origin of the tale. But in its very obscurity […] it resembles a murmuring, almost discordant opening chord in a minor key which is soon to spring into a miracle of melody which will stay for ever in the head. What explains the book’s allure? As a piece of sheer narrative it can have few rivals […] RLS lets out his information with such consummate timing. Who was Captain Flint? We have heard of him dozen times before it becomes clear. […] There is someting Homeric about them [the crew], their memory of earlier voyages and plunders, never fully expounded even when we have reached the island and found the marooned figure of Benn Gunn (“I was in Flint’s ship when he buried the treasure”). […] But of course the glory of the book is […] John Silver. From the first we have been taught to think of Long John as a figure of dread. Nor do we ever forget the menace behind his great ham of a face, behind his calm geniality. […] Yet we are hypnotised by him… ]
Ambrosini,Richard (2001). R.L. Stevenson: La poetica del romanzo [R.L. Stevenson:
Poetics of the novel]. Roma: Bulzoni.
[400 pp., followed by 35 pages of Bibliography of Stevenson studies; covers all of Stevenson’s work, paying particular attention to significant aspects that have not yet been sufficiently discussed, for example the essays and the significant change of theoretical approach in the early part of his career; Ch. 1: From essayist to novelist: 1850-1880; Ch. 2: Treasure Island and the essays on the romance: 1881-1885; Ch. 3: Kidnapped and Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde: 1885-1886; Ch. 4: The Scribner’s Magazine essays and The Wrong Box: 1887-1888; Ch. 5: Myth, history and tragedy in The Master of Ballantrae; Ch. 6: In the South Seas: 1888-1894; Ch. 7: Stevenson and the Twentieth Century.]
Barbalet, Jack (2001). ‘WJ and Robert Louis Stevenson: The Importance of Emotion’. Streams of William James
[William James extensively quotes Stevenson’s ‘The Lantern-Bearers’ in his lecture ‘On a Certain Blindness of Human Beings’ published in 1899. James scholars have tended to identify affinity of the two authors as centred on the validity of each personal point of view. This misses the clearly shared shared belief that ‘emotional engagement endues value, interest and meaning’ (7). Both writers ‘were extremely sensitive to the importance of emotions in human being and human becoming’ (9). ‘RLS demonstrates profound insight concerning the nature and significance of emotions’ (7), as in ‘On the Enjoyment of Unpleasant Places’ he remarks that ‘We see places through our humours as through differently coloured glasses. We are ourselves a term in the equation’.]
Beattie, Hilary J. (2001). ‘Father
and Son: the Origins of The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’. The
Psychoanalytic Study of the Child 56: 317-360.
[In Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde Robert Louis Stevenson created, out of one of his own dreams, the most famous pre-Freudian case study of the divided self. The present essay explores the roots of that work in Stevenson’s lifelong difficulty in separating from his moody, conflicted, and passionately possessive father. Out of a matrix of religious guilt and social conformity, Stevenson struggled to create and define his own identity as a writer, a struggle that ran counter to many of his beloved father’s deepest needs and led to sharp clashes, accompanied by periods of severe depressive and physical illness in both. Stevenson’s creative block during his father’s final depression and dementia was broken only by the nightmare that became ‘Jekyll and Hyde’, which enabled him to give enduring literary expression to the disavowed rage, guilt, and sense of deformity and fractured identity endemic to their internalized relationship. It may also have functioned as an act of exorcism and expiation that helped him recover rapidly from his father’s death and exploit more productively the few years that were left to him.. See also Beattie 1998]
Bender, Adrianne Noel (2001). ‘Mapping
Scotland’s identities: Representations of national landscapes in the novels of
Scott, Stevenson, Oliphant, and Munro’. PhD dissertation at New York University
[Much of Scotland’s interior remained unmapped and uncharted until the Military Survey of Scotland began in 1747, one year after Scotland suffered its final defeat at the hands of the English at the Battle of Culloden. The mapping of Scotland became an act of appropriation and domination over a national “other,” as the English and Lowland Scots attempted to delineate the remote Highland landscape, often viewed as uncivilized and barbaric in the British imagination. But in opening up this seeming wasteland, the maps of Scotland often performed a cultural emptying of that space as they tended to de-emphasize the individuals and communities residing in it.
It is the nineteenth-century historical novel that re-fills the supposedly empty spaces of Scotland’s landscape with a national history and a new national identity at a time when Scotland seems increasingly at risk of losing its autonomy within the larger land of Great Britain. Through representations of Scotland’s different landscapes in the novel, from the Highlands and Lowlands to the city and country estate, the novelist attempts a more complete map of the Scottish interior. The novelist defines not only a geographical space, but a changing historical, cultural, and ideological space throughout historical time.
As the novelist faces many of the same challenges as the cartographer and often finds inspiration in maps and map-making, Scottish cartography becomes a useful framework for studying how the novel imagines the nation through what M. M. Bakhtin has defined as the chronotope, or the intersection of time and space. As it begins with Walter Scott and develops throughout the century with writers such as Margaret Oliphant, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Neil Munro, the historical novel portrays a land situated in an uneasy place between nationhood and empire, between an independent Scotland and a united Great Britain. A study of the Scottish novel is particularly relevant at the beginning of the twenty-first century as Scotland adjusts to its first parliament in almost three hundred years. Scottish writers can envision a national future through a dialogue with the past, although that past is often imagined through the ideological perspectives of its creators.]
Booth, Gordon K (2001). ‘The Strange Case of Mr Stevenson and Professor Smith.’ Aberdeen
University Review 59: 386-97. online1,
(re-titled ‘Robert Louis Stevenson and William Robertson Smith: A
Study In Contrast’).
[Explores the amusing personality clash between R. L. Stevenson and William Robertson Smith when the latter attempted to initiate Stevenson into the mysteries of physics at Edinburgh University
Both WRS and RLS contributed to the new edition of Encyclopaedia Britannica. RLS supplied ‘Jean de Béranger’ and ‘Robert Burns’ (rejected); WRS’s entry on ‘Bible’ was a key entry that began the liberation of English-language Bible criticism from literalism. The two possibly met again, since in 1875 they were elected members of the Savile Club, where both stayed during visits to London. RLS mentions ‘Smith o’ Aiberdeen!’ in his Thomson-Johnson poem ‘The Scotsman’s return from abroad’ (Underwoods, 1887).
‘Smith successfully adapted his Scottish Calvinist inheritance to meet the challenge of his intellectual explorations; Stevenson, on the other hand, never truly escaped its chill hand.’ WRS was the ‘new theologian’ who instigated a paradigmatic shift in theological study of the Bible by introducing the scientific study of Bible into English-speaking countries He also contributed to sociology and social anthropology and was “the founder of religious anthropology”.]
Cleto, Fabio (2001). ‘Lo “strano” caso di Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’. Cleto, Fabio (2001). Percorsi del disenso nel secondo ottocento britannico. Genova: ECIG. Pp. 195-212.
Comellini, Carla (2001). ‘La mappa come metafora del testo letterario: l’eredità di R. L. Stevenson, J. Conrad, R. Kipling in G. Greene e M. Ondaatje’ [The map as metaphor of the literary text: the influence of R. L. Stevenson and J. Conrad on G. Greene and M. Ondaatje]. Il lettore di provincia 32, 110/111 (gennaio/agosto 2001): 53-63.
Doyle, Brian (2001). ‘A Head Full of Swirling Dreams’. The
Atlantic Monthly 288iv (Nov. 2001). Repr. Brian Doyle (2004). Spirited
Men. Story, Soul & Substance.Cambridge,
MA: Cowley Publications, pp. 47-58.
[‘The man who was perhaps the finest writer in the English language […] wrote a timeless classic of young adult fiction (Treasure Island), two and a half other novels of the first rank (Kidnapped, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and the unfinished Weir of Hermiston), a classic children’s book of poems (A Child’s Garden of Verses), and a first-rate travel book (Travels with a Donkey in the Cévennes).
He was additionally a fine essayist, a prescient political reporter […], a skilled social anthropologist, a maker of historical fiction in the vein of his countryman Sir Walter Scott, an early practitioner of modernist fiction (The Beach of Falesá), a sharp-eyed chronicler of nature and landscape, a biographer (of a beloved college professor), a historian (of Edinburgh), a prolific and hilarious letter writer, a composer of deft and poignant prayers, and even the author of popular horror stories (The Merry Men) […] And all this in two decades […] Considering that the man threw fastballs in most every literary genre there is, and considering that none of the many writers of genius we know threw such high heat in so many ballparks, it seems to me we might account the grinning Scotsman with the tubercular cough and cigarette and stories always on his lips to be maybe the best writer our language has known; or at least the most comprehensively accomplished.’ (47-8)]
Harris, Jason Marc (2001). ‘Folklore, fantasy, and fiction: The function
of supernatural folklore in nineteenth and early twentieth-century British
prose narratives of the literary fantastic’. PhD dissertation at University of
Washington (AAT 3013967). Esp. Ch 8: Stevenson, Folklore and Imperialism pp.398-433
[This dissertation reveals the important role of folk beliefs and motifs, adapted from traditional legends and fairy tales, in Victorian and Edwardian fantastic prose. Literary fairy tales and legends appropriate and reshape folkloric elements into texts that demonstrate the cultural instability of their historical eras. These hybrid literary forms indicate the self-consciousness of the literary culture that produced them; the very hesitation of the fantastic mode of writing highlights conflicts between ideological progressivism and social introspection. The adoption of folk tales casts both glamour and a shadow upon the pretensions of utopian visions. Superstition challenges reason throughout the narratives of folkloric fantasy.
British bourgeois and elite culture scrutinizes both the implications of social reform--liberating an unruly underclass and its traditions--and of anthropological insights into global interconnections that erode the illusion of English superiority. Robert Louis Stevenson, for example, portrays the ties between native folklore and British imperialism. Similarly, writers of the Celtic Renaissance, like William Sharp, negotiate with Irish and Scottish folk traditions, attempting to create an aesthetic that could defy English cultural imperialism without succumbing to nationalistic insularity. Walking the writer’s tightrope between preternatural folklore and literary respectability results in a variety of rhetorical strategies that produce multiple forms of the fantastic. Authors of Victorian and Edwardian literary fairy tales and fantasies find or formulate through folk motifs the optimistic or pessimistic images of socio-economic and domestic reform that they envision, while ironically dismissing the marvellous details of folk narratives that threaten to trivialize their prophetic or satirical voices.
As for the realistic appropriations of legends and folk beliefs, gaps appear between the worldview of the narrator and folk informants in the works of William Carleton, Sheridan Le Fanu, and James Hogg. Narrative authority itself lies suspended in cultural uncertainty--dangling between two competing views of reality. Psychological and metaphysical explanations for the fantastic frequently clash within these texts, just as competing cultural and political perceptions from England, Ireland, Scotland, India, and the South Seas Islands lead to crises of interpretation. The logic of folk superstitions subverts--and expands--the borders of British literary culture.]
Hubbard, Tom (2001). ‘Edimbourg-la-Morte:
the Fantastic and Charles Dickens and Robert Louis Stevenson’. Etudes Ecossaises [Univ. Grenoble] 6 (issue devoted to ‘L’Etrange. Le merveilleux. Le surnaturel’): 21-27.
[Dickens and Stevenson both made contributions to the fantastic genre located in Edinburgh: ‘The Story of the Bagman’s Uncle’ in Pickwick Papers (apparition/drunken dream in Leith Walk), and David Balfour’s meeting with the spae-wife (‘foreteller’) at a nearby spot. The protagonists differ greatly, however, and the episode in Catriona is interelated closely with the whole text. Stevenson’s descriptions (in this episode, and also in ‘The Body Snatcher’ and ‘Tod Lapraik’s Tale’) also aim at ‘significant simplicity’ in contrast to Dickens’s magnificent excess.
This simplicity, combined with the uncertain distinction between real and unreal, gives Stevenson’s work a power of suggestiveness much appreciated by Marcel Schwob, who presents him ‘as - in effect - a proto-Symboliste’. Georges Rodenbach’s Symbolist novel, Bruges-la-Morte (1892) also has affinities with Stevenson’s work: ‘the somewhat camp bizarrerie of the prose style’, confusions of identity and labyrinthine setting.]
Hirsch, Gordon (2001). ‘The Travels
of RLS as a Young Man’. The Victorian Newsletter 99 (Spring 2001): 1-7.
[A study of Stevenson’s early travel books, An Inland Voyage (1878) and Travels with a Donkey (1879), and the author’s search for identity. In his first book, Stevenson explores how he will define himself--with what social class, vocation, and group he will identify. He remains, however, fluid, protean, unformed, and without any real relationships, not even with his traveling companion. In contrast, Travels with a Donkey is primarily about Stevenson’s difficult relationship with his wilful donkey, Modestine (who can be seen as a way of talking about his relationship with Fanny Osbourne): Stevenson expresses both attachment and affection towards his donkey, as well as anger and frustration at her obstinacy and wilfulness. In the end, both these early travel books are as much about questions of identity and self-definition as about scenes of travel.]
Honaker, Lisa (2001). ‘The
Revisionary Role of Gender in R. L. Stevenson’s New Arabian Nights and Prince
Otto: Revolution in a “Poison Bad World” ‘. English Literature in
Transition (1880-1920) 44iii: 297-319.
[In New Arabian Nights and Prince Otto, Stevenson identifies the obstacles that late-nineteenth century domestic life mounts for the sorts of characters and adventures the traditional romance paradigm offers. This article argues that Stevenson both challenges realism and rewrites romance by reversing and then righting gender roles in these two works. In both, he offers portraits of effeminate men, whose domestically developed characters make them incapable of action, and masculine women, who have been forced into action by these deficient heroes. The article argues that Stevenson contains the threat such women pose in and to romance by having them orchestrate the revolution that brings a more manly race of heroes to power. This action refuses women the desire for power they wield so effectively in these works. At the same time it makes the point that domesticity must be overthrown in order to restore romance and manhood.]
Klein, Georg (2001). ‘Robert Louis
Stevenson (Schundautor)’ [Robert Louis Stevenson (writer of trash literature)].
Frankfurter Rundschau 3 März 2001, N. 53: 23.
[Novelist Georg Klein offers a series of provocative thoughts about the misinterpretation of Jekyll and Hyde and the poverty of psychoanalytic criticism. By Schundautor he presumably means “author who has been implicitly placed in the category of trash literature by those who have used his works for unsubtle derivative works” (Jekyll he thinks is probably “the most-adapted work of all literature”). Klein is opposed to reductive psychological interpretation of the text (found specially in film adaptations) and sees the essence of Hyde as instability of form (hence his indescribability and the futility of Lanyon’s “Compose yourself!”). “Hyde is a medium”, just as the personality is a medium (though we would like it to be fixed) and just as literature too a medium, not something that can be trapped in a cabinet and easily defined.]
Kucich, John (2001). ‘Melancholy Magic: Masochism,
Stevenson, Anti-Imperialism’. Nineteenth Century Literature 56iii:
[This study uses relational psychoanalysis (which stresses the importance of relations with others, rather than internal drives) and historicist methods (which sees cultural history in terms of social and historical context) to show how Stevenson revised the ideological function of Victorian masochism as a class-coded discourse.]
Lamb, Jonanthan, Vanessa Smith &
Nicholas Thomas (eds.) (2001). Exploration and Exchange. A South Seas
Anthology, 1680-1900. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
[a selection of writings of British and American visitors to the Pacific; divided into three sections, ‘adventurers and explorers’, ‘beachcombers and missionaries’ and ‘literary travellers’, each preceded by an authoritative introduction]
Larson, Matthew Allen (2001). ‘Text/music
relations in Ralph Vaughan Williams’ ‘Songs of Travel’: An interpretive guide’.
DMA dissertation at Arizona State University (AAT 3004121). Chapters devoted to
[Preparation of art song for performance requires intensive collaborative effort by both the singer and the pianist. This preparation should include a thorough study of the text as well as the music. The relationship between the composer’s music and the poet’s words is the key to discovering the interpretive intentions of the composer, as well as making informed musical decisions regarding the performance of the work.
Songs of Travel for baritone and piano, composed in 1904 by Ralph Vaughan Williams on poems of Robert Louis Stevenson, is an example of song cycle, a set of art songs that are connected musically, textually, or both. The songs were intended by the composer to be performed as a unit. The texts were chosen by the composer from a larger collection of poems of the same title, and were arranged in a particular order that suggests a chronology of events in the life of the protagonist. This particular song cycle employs recurring musical ideas while maintaining the independence of each piece. The story is told by a narrator, represented by the baritone, who has abandoned civilized society in favor of a life of wandering. His development as a person, and the effect the events of each song has upon his personal journey, are reflected through the use of returning musical themes, specific harmonic devices, and other compositional tools with which Vaughan Williams suggests dramatic direction.
This research paper focuses on an analysis of text/music relations in each of the nine Songs of Travel. Specific musical ideas have been highlighted, possible connections between these figures and the poetry have been explored, and a dramatic progression of the story has been extrapolated. The end of each chapter presents interpretive suggestions for performance based upon those findings.]
Meunier, Jacques (2001). ‘Stevenson et ses “brownies”‘. Le Monde/Le
Monde des Livres 1 juin 2001: I.
[Whole-page review of Stevenson Oeuvres, I (Gallimard/Pléiade 2001) and Manguel (2001; see ‘R.L. Stevenson in fiction’ page) in the form of a general survey and appreciation of the writer’s works. Here are some of the felicitous formulations in translation: ‘a mythical writer, symbol of a new idea of literature’; ‘he seduces children, adults and academics’; ‘this prose which has a fine link with trance and hypnosis’; ‘strange to see such a one in the form of a missal’ [ironic reference to the de luxe thin-paper Pléiade volumes]; ‘more sensitive to performance [parole – perhaps this could also be translated as ‘the physical manifestation of the word’] than to discourse [discours – perhaps this just means ‘large textual units’], lover of ellipsis, allusion, litotes’; ‘the urgency [in the writing of Jekyll] leads to a sort of unfinishedness that Stevenson aimed at’.]
Odden, Karen Marie (2001). ‘Broken trains of thought: The railway crash, trauma and narrative in
British fiction, 1848-1910’. PhD dissertation at New York University (AAT
[The Victorian railway occupied an extraordinary position in the public imagination because it altered nearly every aspect of culture from food distribution to ways of conceptualizing space and time. By mid-century the train was also available as a metaphor for certain types of plots, particularly those in realist novels. Beginning in the 1850s, Victorian railway crashes and injury trials compelled dozens of Victorian medical, legal and railway professionals to write treatises in which they discuss issues such as causality, agency, credibility and the need for supplemental narratives. Because these are also narrative concerns, novelists such as M. E. Braddon, Wilkie Collins, Charles Dickens, R. L. Stevenson and Anthony Trollope used railway crashes, both mechanical and financial, to introduce questions concerning the category of traumatic injury and to work out aspects of their own craft. Specifically, these writers developed narrative devices that plot the kind of rupture that we associate with trauma by producing psychological complexity. The experiential category that Freud called trauma became an organizing fiction that enabled writers in the medical, legal and literary professions to make sense of modern catastrophe and loss in a new way.]
Ricks, Christopher (2001). ‘A Note
on “The Hollow Men” and Stevenson’s The Ebb-Tide’. Essays in
Criticism 51i: 8-17.
[In an undergraduate essay T.S. Eliot praises The Ebb-Tide (which combines ‘truth and strangeness’) and in a review of Chesterton (1927) he is disappointed that no-one has produced ‘a critical essay showing that Stevenson is a writer of permanent importance, and why’. Ricks claims that ‘The Ebb-Tide may well have been among the prompters of “The Hollow Men” (1925)’: (i) both include a quotation of (or allusion to) the nursery rhyme ‘Here we go round the mulberry bush’ by an adult speaker, emphasizing a grim distance from childhood; (ii) both works are about ‘hollow men’ (Davis, Huish); (iii) many slight linguistic and thematic parallels between Stevenson’s Chapter 11 and Eliot’s poem.]
Roblin, Isabelle (2001). “The
Strange Cases of Emma Tennant’s Two Women of London (1989) and Valerie
Martin’s Mary Reilly (1990)”. Alizés [Université de
la Réunion] (ed. Eileen Wanquet) ***: ***
[A study of the significant differences between Stevenson’s story and the texts by Tennant and Martin]
Robson, Catherine (2001). Men in
Wonderland : The Lost Girlhood of the Victorian Gentleman.
Princeton/London: Princeton UP.
[The anxieties of ‘Maiden Tribute’ scandal reflected in Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, pp. 154-6.]
Domenico (2001). ‘L’arcipelago’. Introduction to Stevenson, R.L., L’isola
del tesoro [Treasure Island]. Milano: Feltrinelli.
[A survey of Stevenson’s reception and influence in Italy: Cecchi, Praz, Pavese, Silvio D’Arzo, Calvino, Manganelli, Mari]
Thomson, Belinda (2001). ‘Ideas of Sickness and Health - The South Seas
in the Work of Robert Louis Stevenson and Paul Gauguin’. Paper read at the 2001
Conference of the Association of Art Historians, ‘Geographies of Art: Exploring
Landscapes, Crossing Borders’
[Belinda Thomson’s abstract: ‘In terms of their shared attraction to and experience of life in Polynesia, flight from a Europe perceived to be in decline and search for reinvigoration from primitive sources, there are some striking parallels between the cases of Robert Louis Stevenson and Paul Gauguin. In this paper I will compare and contrast the writer and the artist as inveterate travellers, seekers after novelty and exploiters of exotic foreign subject matter within their art. Finding certain common threads to their thinking and similarities between their motives for deciding to abandon Europe for the South Seas, not least the fact of their waning health, the paper will explore the extent of Stevenson’s reputation in French Symbolist circles in the late 1880s and the feasibility of Gauguin’s awareness of the Scottish writer as precedent. It will also seek to assess the role and importance of their different experiences of Polynesia in the later development of their art.’]
Waterston, Elizabeth (2001). Rapt
in Plaid: Canadian Literature and Scottish Tradition. Toronto: University
of Toronto Press.
[Imitations and transformations of Scottish literary influence are “set in the context of multi-cultural, narrative, postmodern and postcolonial theories. This study illuminates the way Scottish ideas and values still wield surprising power in Canadian politics, education, theology, economics and social mores.” Includes a chapter “Stevenson and the Garden of Childhood”]
Bruno (2001). ‘Historicizing unreliable narration: unreliability and cultural
discourse in narrative fiction’. Style 35i: 1-23
[The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and The Master of Ballantrae "play a major part in the development of unreliable narration in British fiction. Although until recently they have been largely underrated, Stevenson’s novels with their skeptical questioning of representation and innovative use of old forms make him an important precursor of Modernism" (p. 9).]
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