Adventures in Criticism

Book cover
Purchase of this book includes free trial access to where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON WISH Mr. Stevenson had given this book another title. It covers but two out of the three stories in the volume ; and, even so, it Entertain- has the ill-luck to be completely spoilt by its ments." ' ' r J predecessor, the New Arabian Nights. The New Arabian Nights was in many respects a parody of the Eastern book. It had, if we make a few necessary allowances for the difference between East and West, the same, or very near the same, atmosphere of gallant, extravagant, intoxicated romance. The characters had the same adventurous irresponsibility, and exhibit the same irrelevancies and futilities. The Young Man with the Cream Cakes might well have sprung from the same brain as the facetious Barmecide, and young Scrymgeour sits helpless before his destiny as sat that other young man while the inexorable Barber sang the song and danced the dance of Zantout.Indeed Destiny in these books resembles nothing so much as a Barber with forefinger and thumb nipping his victims by the nose. It is as omnipotent, as irrational, as humorous and almost as cruel in the imitation as in the original. Of course I am not comparing these in any thing but their general presentment of life, or holding up The Rajah's Diamond against Aladdin. I am merely pointing out that life is presented to us in Galland and in Mr. Stevenson's first book of tales under very similar conditions—the chief difference being that Mr. Stevenson has to abate something of the supernatural, or to handle it less frankly. But several years divide the New Arabian Nights from the Island Nights' Entertainments ; and in the interval our author has written The Master of Ballantrae and his famous Open Letter on Father Damien. That is to say, he has ) grown in his understanding of the human creature and ... --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
add to favoritesadd

Users who have this book

Users who want this book

What readers are saying

What do you think? Write your own comment on this book!

write a comment

What do you think? Write your own comment on this book

Info about the book






3/5 (5)

Your rating:




Do you want to exchange books? It’s EASY!

Get registered and find other users who want to give their favourite books to good hands!