Sunday, April 12, 2009


The dearth of religious instinct should be regarded as an asset. Therefore, I consider myself fortunate. This last week, surprisingly, saw me enter an ascetic stetch for a few days. Throughout such, I was led by both Borges and Terrence Malick to Robert Louis Stevenson. Aside from Illustrated Classics adaptations, I must admit that I never read RLS. Indeed the venerable Jorge, along with a viewing of Badlands, combined to set the table for Kidnapped and, again, I am a lucky man. Stevenson himself advises the ideal reader to indulge in his narrative after putting down his Ovid for the last hour before bed. The lumbering stresses of my own labors were placed aside and I was allowed to wade in this terrific tale.

Kidnapped is a story of privation. Darkness, thirst and fatigue all loom gigantic in this tale of stolen inheritance and unjust occupation. I wouldn't consider the work subversive, much as Kipling's Kim preferss to dwell in the margins, enjoying both the spiritual nourishment of the subcontinent, but preferring to ponder such with a cup of Earl Grey. Likewise the oral traditions of the Highlands appear fascinating to the young David Balfour, but he prefers the secure penumbra of Georgian authority to the clannish justice in the rolling heather. I can't admit to any urgent plans to read more of RLS but this Borgesian undercurrent does appear to have fertilized a rasher of options for this week of demi-holiday.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home