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Essays in the Art of Writing   By: (1850-1894)

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Essays in the Art of Writing by Robert Louis Stevenson is a remarkable compilation of insightful essays that any aspiring writer should read. Known for his captivating storytelling and beautiful prose, Stevenson offers valuable advice and shares his wisdom on the art and craft of writing.

This collection of essays covers a wide range of topics, including the importance of style, the role of the reader, and the challenges faced by authors. Stevenson's eloquent writing, coupled with his profound understanding of the writing process, makes each essay a pleasure to read.

One of the standout essays is "The Morality of the Profession." In this thought-provoking piece, Stevenson explores the ethical responsibilities of writers and highlights the power of storytelling to shape society. His arguments are both persuasive and thought-provoking, leaving the reader with a deeper appreciation for the impact that literature can have on individuals and communities.

Another notable essay is "Books Which Have Influenced Me." Here, Stevenson shares a personal and nostalgic journey through the books that have left a lasting impression on his life. From the classics to contemporary works, he vividly describes the impact each book had on his imagination and writing style. This essay not only provides valuable reading recommendations but also gives readers a glimpse into the mind of a master storyteller.

What sets this book apart is Stevenson's ability to blend practical advice with philosophical musings. His insights on the importance of clarity and the balance between imagination and discipline are invaluable for aspiring writers. Stevenson's own experiences as an author, combined with his extensive knowledge of literature, add depth and credibility to his words.

Although written over a century ago, the essays remain relevant today. Stevenson's observations on the evolving landscape of literature and the challenges faced by contemporary writers are eerily similar to those we encounter in our modern era. His words serve as a reminder that the art of storytelling is timeless and should adapt to the changing times.

In conclusion, Essays in the Art of Writing is a treasure trove of wisdom and inspiration for any writer, novice or experienced. Stevenson's ability to combine practical advice with philosophical reflections makes this book a must-read. Whether you are seeking guidance on honing your writing skills or are simply interested in understanding the mind of a literary genius, this collection of essays will undoubtedly leave a lasting impact on your writing journey.

First Page:


Contents: On some technical elements of style in literature The morality of the profession of letters Books which have influenced me A note on realism My first book: 'Treasure Island' The genesis of 'the master of Ballantrae' Preface to 'the master of Ballantrae'


There is nothing more disenchanting to man than to be shown the springs and mechanism of any art. All our arts and occupations lie wholly on the surface; it is on the surface that we perceive their beauty, fitness, and significance; and to pry below is to be appalled by their emptiness 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 rather from the fault of our analysis than from any poverty native to the mind. And perhaps in aesthetics the reason is the same: those disclosures which seem fatal to the dignity of art seem so perhaps only in the proportion of our ignorance; and those conscious and unconscious artifices which it seems unworthy of the serious artist to employ were yet, if we had the power to trace them to their springs, indications of a delicacy of the sense finer than we conceive, and hints of ancient harmonies in nature... Continue reading book >>

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