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Scholar, Writer, Mother, Dreamer. Editor of Luminarium, an online library for English Literature of the Middle Ages and Renaissance.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Robert Louis Stevenson: Out of the Shadows

 For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go.
I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move.
Travels with a Donkey in the Cévennes (1879)

The difficulty of literature is not to write, but
to write what you mean; not to affect your reader,
but to affect him precisely as you wish.
Virginibus Puerisque (1881)

It is the mark of a good action that
it appears inevitable in the retrospect.
Reflections and Remarks on Human Life (1898)

When most people think of Robert Louis Stevenson, they probably think about his Treasure Island — visions of pirates, Long John Silver, "Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum" and all that. Some may think of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

Stevenson, however, was an extremely versatile and prolific writer. In addition to novels, he wrote collections of short stories, poetry, travel narratives, and critical essays, not to mention his vast output of letters. Stevenson was a celebrity in his own time, but future generations relegated him to the children's book shelves, and dismissed him as a great literary mind, leaving him out of the canon of English literature. Fortunately, the tide has turned and appreciation for Stevenson is resurfacing.

I have just finished a new website for Stevenson at Luminarium. If it sounds like your cup of tea, do visit:

Luminarium Robert Louis Stevenson Site


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Blogger SzélsőFa said...

finally, I had some time to wander through your pages on Stevenson. It was of use to me, for he is not taught in Hungarian schools.

May 15, 2007 4:40 PM  
Blogger Anniina said...

He isn't taught in Finland as such either, but Treasure Island is often read by kids as an adventure novel.

May 15, 2007 7:46 PM  
Blogger SzélsőFa said...

I tend to think Mr Jekyll and Mr Hyde are better known and although I have not read it (yet) the concept of it, I assume that is having two personalities, is often cited here and there.

For adventure, Jules Verne is more famous over here. He was so famous at one time that his name was translated to Hungarian and I reckon some 30% of the population still believes him to be a Hungarian writer, heehee

May 16, 2007 9:53 AM  
Blogger Anniina said...

I think you're right about Jekyll and Hyde... everyone knows the reference, and they've made so many movies of it too.

Wow! What's Jules Verne's name in Hungarian?

May 16, 2007 2:34 PM  
Blogger SzélsőFa said...

It's Verne Gyula.
You know Hungarians put the family name first. Verne, although sounds NOTHING like a Hungarian name, was left unadjusted, while the Christian name was simply translated to something that sounds similar and is COMPLETELY Hungarian. A kind of a combo-name.
Many people refer to Jules Verne as Verne Gyula even in these days.

May 18, 2007 2:58 AM  
Blogger Anniina said...

Fascinating! Is that sort of author-name translating still done nowadays, or a thing of the past?

May 18, 2007 4:41 AM  
Blogger SzélsőFa said...

It's a thing of the past. Unfortunately the trend now is that Hungarian authors choose foreing-sounding fake names - for marketing purposes I guess.

May 18, 2007 4:03 PM  

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