European Stevenson

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Edinburgh, late 1860s. Two young gentlemen, their heads buzzing with ideas and artistic ambitions, 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, to London and the Continent. In their Introduction the editors see this scene with his painter cousin as symbolically significant for Robert Louis Stevenson's writing career. Through his connection with Europe, and especially France,...

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Overview

Edinburgh, late 1860s. Two young gentlemen, their heads buzzing with ideas and artistic ambitions, 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, to London and the Continent. In their Introduction the editors see this scene with his painter cousin as symbolically significant for Robert Louis Stevenson's writing career. Through his connection with Europe, and especially France, he participated in an international exchange of ideas on art which led him in the 1870s to reinvent his relationship with his national literary tradition by exploring a variety of essayistic forms. He would eventually confront the shadow of the Scott Monument when he turned to novel writing in the '80s, but the nature of his innovations as a novelist cannot be understood without taking into account the lessons he learned in France. The papers that follow first explore the way Stevenson's world-view and cultural background interacted with European landscape, literature and painting in that key early decade. Later chapters examine the influence of Stevenson on European writers (Proust, Cocteau, Brecht and Calvino) and on other creative artists. 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 still remained an admired model for Europeans.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781443814362
  • Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing
  • Publication date: 12/1/2009
  • Pages: 280
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard Ambrosini, Professor of English at Roma Tre University, has a special interest in Joseph Conrad (Conrad's Fiction as Critical Discourse, 2nd edition 2008) and R. L. Stevenson (R. L. Stevenson: la poetica del romanzo, 2001), authors who he has also translated into Italian. Richard Dury, previously Associate Professor at Bergamo University, is founder editor of the Stevenson website and has published a scholarly edition of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (2004). Both previously co-edited Robert Louis Stevenson Writer of Boundaries (2004), and are actively involved in the Journal of Stevenson Studies, the biennial Stevenson conferences and in a new scholarly edition of Stevenson's works.

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