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The Poetics of Talk in Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island
SEL Studies in English Literature
  • Amy Wong, University of California, Los Angeles
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Literature and Languages

This essay considers the relationship between Robert Louis Stevenson’s well-loved adventure classic Treasure Island and his philosophical commitments to talk. For Stevenson, talking and adventuring share an experiential poetics that emphasizes responsiveness to unpredictable interactions. By examining several of Stevenson’s prose pieces, including “Talk and Talkers” and “My First Book” as well as Treasure Island, this essay argues that the novel aspires to translate the poetics of talk into a print medium. Treasure Island imagines itself as a form of “living print,” a work that, like Long John Silver’s parrot, seems more dynamic than print typically is, yet is still ultimately incapable of talk’s interactivity.


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Citation Information
Amy Wong. "The Poetics of Talk in Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island" SEL Studies in English Literature Vol. 54 Iss. 4 (2014) p. 901 - 922 ISSN: 0039-3657
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