This week the City of Literature celebrates the wonderful Robert Louis Stevenson. It seems fitting then that I spent the day on Wednesday editing a section of my manuscript that deals heavily with the beauty of one of his finest works, Treasure Island. It’s the pirates I love, you see. It’s wonderful to live in a city that can claim such close acquaintance to a man who achieved so much with his writing. It’s finer still to see us still celebrate him. Perhaps it’s his own immortal words, already quoted on my blog, about my chosen home that carry the weight of time to those who still live here.
We are still “liable to be beaten upon by all the winds that blow, to be drenched with rain, to be buried in cold sea fogs out of the east, and powdered with the snow as it comes flying southward from the Highland hills.” His is the more eloquent description than the one more frequently heard on the street and summarised by “it’s pure pish outside.” They’re both accurate. Nothing bonds the British like the weather. More likely it’s the timeless nature of adventure that makes his works so wonderful still.
It’s fantastic that were are still able able to live in the worlds he gave us, with all the mystery they have. It’s uplifting to think how much he left of himself in ours. I recently sat and had the mightiest cookie that anyone has a right to have, on the steps of the Robert Louis Stevenson school in down town Manhattan. The cookie deserves another sentence, that’s how amazing it was. The location of that chocolate feast shows it’s not just his words that carried on but our respect for the one who crafted them into something wonderful.
It would be presumptuous of any writer, especially one most currently involved in a story about a fella’ in Hong Kong with a funny cane, to aspire to that kind of legacy. It’s still rather nice to know that with words it’s possible to achieve it. It’s also nice to know, that people still love pirates. This is something I whole heartedly approve of. So much so, it made it onto my birthday cake.