- Copertina flessibile: 168 pagine
- Editore: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (12 settembre 2012)
- Lingua: Inglese
- ISBN-10: 1479298794
- ISBN-13: 978-1479298792
- Peso di spedizione: 313 g
Virginibus Puerisque (Inglese) Copertina flessibile – 12 set 2012
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Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson (13 November 1850 – 3 December 1894) was a Scottish novelist, poet, essayist, and travel writer. His most famous works are Treasure Island, Kidnapped, and Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. A literary celebrity during his lifetime, Stevenson now ranks among the 26 most translated authors in the world. His works have been admired by many other writers, including Jorge Luis Borges, Ernest Hemingway, Rudyard Kipling, Marcel Schwob, Vladimir Nabokov, J. M. Barrie, and G. K. Chesterton, who said of him that he "seemed to pick the right word up on the point of his pen, like a man playing spillikins." -wikipedia
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That said I will not attempt any general analysis or expound some thesis, but simply give my thoughts on the collection as a whole, and my thoughts on the collection as a whole is that it is a wonderfully entertaining and insightful selection of essays from one of the most brilliant writers of his time, Robert Louis Stevenson, who's most well known works no doubt include Kidnapped, Treasure Island, and Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde. Despite his best known works being works of fiction, Stevenson was also a man of letters who influenced some of the greatest writers of the past century (including Borges, Hemingway and Chesterton).
Amongst the subjects tackled in the essays of this collection include the art of writing, the sentiments of youth and old age, childhood, idleness and adventure, death, and traveling. What I might point out as my personal favorites amongst the essays are the titular essay, Virginibus Puerisque, as well two others entitled Crabbed Age & Youth, and An Apology for Idlers.
Rather than give a dry synopsis of these I'll simply provide some of Stevenson's own genius and allow it to speak for itself:
From Virginibus Puerisque:
-"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."
-"Do you think it is a hard thing to write poetry? Why, that is to write poetry, and of a high, if not the highest order."
From Crabbed Age and Youth:
-"All sorts of allowances are made for the illusions of youth; and none, or almost none, for the disenchantments of age. It is held to be a good taunt, and somehow or other to clinch the question logically, when an old gentleman waggles his head and says: `Ah, so I thought when I was your age.' It is not thought an answer at all, if the young man retorts; `My venerable sir, so I shall most probably think when I am yours.' And yet the one is as good as the other: pass for pas, tit for tat, a Roland for an Oliver."
-"To have a catchword in your mouth is not the same thing as to hold an opinion; still less is it the same thing as to have made one for yourself."
-"All my old opinions were only stages on the way to the one I hold now, as itself is only a stage on the way to something else. I am no more abashed at having been a red-hot Socialist with panacea of my own than at having been a suckling infant... Even in quite intermediate stages, a dash of enthusiasm is not a thing to be ashamed of in retrospect; if St. Paul had not been a very zealous Pharisee, he would have been a colder Christian."
-"A full, busy youth is your only prelude to a self-contained and independent age; and the muff inevitably develops into a bore."
From An Apology for Idlers:
-"Extreme busyness, whether at school or college, kirk or market, is a symptom of deficient vitality; and a faculty for idleness implies a catholic appetite and a strong sense of personal identity. There is a sort of dead-alive, hackneyed people about, who are scarcely conscious of living except in the exercise of some conventional occupation. Bring these fellows into the country or set them aboard ship, and you will see how they pine for their desk or their study. They have no curiosity; they cannot give themselves over to random provocations; they do not take pleasure in the exercise of their faculties for its own sake; and unless Necessity lays about them with a stick, they will even stand still. It is no good speaking to such folk: they cannot be idle..."
-"Perpetual devotion to what a man calls his business, is only to be sustained by perpetual neglect of many other things."-From An Apology for Idlers Robert Louis Stevenson