Lawrence Phillips's The South Pacific Narratives of Robert Louis Stevenson and Jack London makes a timely contribution to the ongoing interrogation of late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Western writing in and about the Pacific, a project that first came to prominence in the late 1990s under the aegis of postcolonial studies through the work of Rod Edmond and Vanessa Smith in particular. Along with Herman Melville, Stevenson and London form a kind of holy trinity of prominent writers who made it to the region: Stevenson spent the final years of his life in the Pacific, from his relocation to Samoa in 1888 until his death in 1894, while London spent several years there during the next decade. Of their resultant writings, critical attention has largely focused on Stevenson, especially the short stories published in Island Nights' Entertainments (1893) and his novella The...
Narrative and Critique in the South Pacific
philip steer is lecturer in English at Massey University, coeditor of a special issue of International Journal of Scottish Literature on “The Scottish Pacific,” and currently writing a book, “Borders of Britishness: Literary Form, Political Economy, and Settler Colonialism, 1829–1915,” that analyzes the novel's circulation among New Zealand, Australia, and Britain.
Philip Steer; Narrative and Critique in the South Pacific. Novel 1 May 2015; 48 (1): 162–165. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00295132-2860565
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