Saturday, February 03, 2007

For Those Who Missed Dr. Thursday's Post

His computer crashed this week. Pray he can recover the data. Thanks. He will return when he can.
Meanwhile, he sent me another Candlemas quote. (From another computer.)
It might be said, for instance, that there are few more vivid or typical scenes in the Stevensonian tales than that of the duel at midnight in The Master of Ballantrae. But there again the exception proves the rule; the description insists not on the darkness of night but on the hardness of winter, the 'windless stricture of the frost'; the candles that stand as straight as the swords; the candle-flames that seem almost as cold as the stars. I have spoken of the double meaning of a woodcut; this was surely, in the same double sense, a steel engraving. A steely cold stiffens and steadies that tingling play of steel; and that not only materially but morally. The House of Durrisdeer does not fall after the fashion of The House of Usher. There is in that murderous scene I know not what that is clean and salt and sane; and, in spite of all, the white frost gives to the candles a sort of cold purification as of Candlemas. But the point is, at the moment, that when we say this deed was done at night, we do not mean that it was done in the dark. There is a sense of exactitude and emphatic detail that belongs entirely to the day. [from Robert Louis Stevenson CW18:56]


  1. Thanks. I thought this would be a week without a Thursday. JGB

  2. Every week must have its Thursday, but sometimes Thursday must miss a week. Due to circumstances beyond his control.


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