Essays in the Art of Writing

Essays in the Art of Writing

by Robert Louis Stevenson


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There is nothing more disenchanting to man than to be shown the springs and mechanismof any art. All our arts and occupations lie wholly on the surface; it is on the surface that weperceive their beauty, fitness, and significance; and to pry below is to be appalled by theiremptiness and shocked by the coarseness of the strings and pulleys. In a similar way,psychology itself, when pushed to any nicety, discovers an abhorrent baldness, but ratherfrom the fault of our analysis than from any poverty native to the mind. And perhaps inæsthetics the reason is the same: those disclosures which seem fatal to the dignity of artseem so perhaps only in the proportion of our ignorance; and those conscious andunconscious artifices which it seems unworthy of the serious artist to employ were yet, ifwe had the power to trace them to their springs, indications of a delicacy of the sense finerthan we conceive, and hints of ancient harmonies in nature. This ignorance at least islargely irremediable. We shall never learn the affinities of beauty, for they lie too deep innature and too far back in the mysterious history of man. The amateur, in consequence,will always grudgingly receive details of method, which can be stated but never can whollybe explained; nay, on the principle laid down in Hudibras, that'Still the less they understand,The more they admire the sleight-of-hand,'many are conscious at each new disclosure of a diminution in the ardour of theirpleasure. I must therefore warn that well-known character, the general reader, that I amhere embarked upon a most distasteful business: taking down the picture from the walland looking on the back; and, like the inquiring child, pulling the musical cart to pieces.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9798673712405
Publisher: Independently published
Publication date: 08/09/2020
Pages: 42
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.10(d)

About the Author

Robert Louis Stevenson (eigentlich Robert Levis Balfour Stevenson) wurde am 13.11.1850 in Edinburgh geboren. Der Vater war Leuchtturmbaumeister, das wollte auch der Sohn werden. Er hatte jedoch ein Lungenleiden und studierte daher Jura von 1871-1875. Er arbeitete jedoch nicht als Rechtsanwalt sondern wurde freier Schriftsteller, vergeblich ein Klima suchend, das sein Lungenleiden heilte. Seit 1888 lebte er auf Samoa, wo er bei den Eingeborenen in hohem Ansehen stand. Er starb am 03.12.1894 im Haus Vailima bei Apia (Westsamoa).

Date of Birth:

November 13, 1850

Date of Death:

December 3, 1894

Place of Birth:

Edinburgh, Scotland

Place of Death:

Vailima, Samoa


Edinburgh University, 1875

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