By J. Reid
During this attention-grabbing booklet, Reid examines Robert Louis Stevenson's writings within the context of late-Victorian evolutionist concept, arguing that an curiosity in 'primitive' tradition is on the center of his paintings. She investigates a variety of Stevenson's writing, together with Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and Treasure Island, supplying a brand new manner of knowing the connection among his Scottish and South Seas paintings. Reid's shut cognizance to Stevenson's engagement with anthropological and mental debate additionally illuminates the intersections among literature and technology on the fin de siecle, and comprises formerly unpublished fabric from the Stevenson archive at Yale. Reid's interpretation bargains a brand new approach of realizing the connection among his Scottish and South Seas paintings. Her research of Stevenson's engagement with anthropological and mental debate additionally illuminates the dynamic intersections among literature and technology on the fin de si??cle.
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Extra info for Robert Louis Stevenson, Science, and the Fin de Siecle (Palgrave Studies in Nineteenth-Century Writing and Culture)
These essays, which appeared in popular journals and enjoyed a wide readership, mark Stevenson’s engagement with the emergent evolutionist approach to literature. A new school of psychologists, following Herbert Spencer, examined the imagination as a connection between modern individuals and humanity’s collective past. The psychologist James Sully and others used an evolutionary model of the mind to explore the affinity between dreaming, myth-making, and literary inspiration. An increasing interest in the unconscious mind also informed the writings of psychical researchers including F.
Howells accordingly praised readers’ graduation from the ‘childish . . demand’ for romance to more sophisticated appreciation of the ‘new kind of fiction’ offered by realism, and H. 3 More recently, critics have found the late-Victorian romance ideologically unpalatable, on the grounds of its reactionary gender politics and jingoistic imperialism. 4 For romancers including Haggard and Andrew Lang, 31 32 Robert Louis Stevenson, Science, and the Fin de Siècle the ideal of heroic masculinity promised to regenerate an effeminate modern world.
13 In ‘A Gossip on Romance’ (1882) and ‘A Humble Remonstrance’ (1884), Stevenson uses evolutionist psychology, paradoxically, to collapse the forward-moving narrative of evolution, unsettling the hierarchical relations between unconscious and conscious mind, senses and intellect, and low and high culture. ‘A Gossip on Romance’, published in Longman’s Magazine, calls for a genuinely popular literary art. 14 He thus pits the artificial and cultured world of genteel manners against natural, instinctual, and even inarticulate forces.
Robert Louis Stevenson, Science, and the Fin de Siecle (Palgrave Studies in Nineteenth-Century Writing and Culture) by J. Reid