The Art of Writing by Robert Louis Stevenson
I. ON SOME TECHNICAL ELEMENTS OF STYLE IN LITERATURE
II. THE MORALITY OF THE PROFESSION OF LETTERS
III. BOOKS WHICH HAVE INFLUENCED ME
IV. A NOTE ON REALISM
V. MY FIRST BOOK: 'TREASURE ISLAND'
VI. THE GENESIS OF 'THE MASTER OF BALLANTRAE'
VII. PREFACE TO 'THE MASTER OF BALLANTRAE'
CHAPTER I - ON SOME TECHNICAL ELEMENTS OF STYLE IN LITERATURE
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