Cruising with Robert Louis Stevenson: Travel, Narrative, and the Colonial Body

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Ohio University Press, 2007 - Literary Criticism - 344 pages
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Cruising with Robert Louis Stevenson: Travel, Narrative, and the Colonial Body is the first book-length study about the influence of travel on Robert Louis Stevensonís writings, both fiction and nonfiction. Within the contexts of late-Victorian imperialism and ethnographic discourse, the book offers original close readings of individual works by Stevenson while bringing new theoretical insights to bear on the relationship between travel, authorship, and gender identity.

Oliver S. Buckton develops ďcruisingĒ as a critical term, linking Stevensonís leisurely mode of travel with the striking narrative motifs of disruption and fragmentation that characterize his writings. Buckton follows Stevensonís career from his early travel books to show how Stevensonís major works of fiction, such as Treasure Island, Kidnapped, and The Ebb-Tide, derive from the innovative techniques and materials Stevenson acquired on his global travels.

Exploring Stevensonís pivotal role in the revival of ďromanceĒ in the late nineteenth century, Cruising with Robert Louis Stevenson highlights Stevensonís treatment of the human body as part of his resistance to realism, arguing that the energies and desires released by travel are often routed through resistant or comic corporeal figures. Buckton also focuses on Stevensonís writing about the South Seas, arguing that his groundbreaking critiques of European colonialism are formed in awareness of the fragility and desirability of Polynesian bodies and landscapes.

Cruising with Robert Louis Stevenson will be indispensable to all admirers of Stevenson as well as of great interest to readers of travel writing, Victorian ethnography, gender studies, and literary criticism.

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Contents

Reanimating Stevensons Corpus
35
The Beast in the Mountains
67
Faithful to his map
97
Copyright

8 other sections not shown

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About the author (2007)

Oliver S. Buckton is an associate professor of English at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, where he teaches Victorian literature, critical theory, and film. He is the author of Secret Selves: Confession and Same-Sex Desire in Victorian Autobiography and has published essays on Dickens, Stevenson, Wilde, and Schreiner.

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