We have been uncertain of things…Tusitala spoke out.

G. K. Chesterton

The world is so full of a number of things, I sure we should all be as happy as kings

Philosophically an optimist: My bed is like a little boat.  He had a reason for being right where he was at the moment.

  1. Imperialistic expansion into the Pacific.
  2. Literary fascination
  3. Missionary effort — The London Missionary Society.

That’s not why Stevenson was there.  It motivated the British, the Americans, the Germans to be active in the same area at that time.  Stevenson was six years in the Pacific, four years in Samoa.  He died suddenly when he was 44 years old, from a stroke.  I’m older than Stevenson now.  He accomplished so much.

“Man most interesting”.  Natives needed to move towards civilisation (Science, Cricket, Christianity).  Stevenson accepted that without indentifying natives as savages.  They were something different, “more manly ways of life”, without the falsity of western urban life, the falsity of club and college life.

It was in Samoa that the word ‘home’ first began to have a real meaning for these gypsy wanderers.

Nellie Van De Grift Sanchez

What does Stevenson find?  What does Stevenson bring?  There is no ‘Rosebud’ moment.  Stevenson could be both a horizontal nomadic writer (Pakeha) and a vertical wounded homelander writer (Maori)

I saw the rain falling and the rainbow drawn on Lammermuir…in my precipitous city.

The world was like all new painted.

A strong notion of history, starting with A Page of History to A Footnote to History, a far off land of which we know nothing.  The handful of whites have everything — the natives walk in a foreign town.  Stevenson wrote a polemical pamphlet.  We are in the thick of the age of finance; they are in a period communism, a communism of a communal culture where everything is shared.

Stevenson, an exile, (a migrant?) wrote about morality, corruption and mystical evil.  Where did he keep the bottle?

Home is the sailor, home from the sea.

 

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