Le narrazioni "approssimative" e "degeneri" di Robert L. Stevenson nei mari del Sud

Luigi Cazzato


In the history of British culture and of what I term “Anglo-Southern relations”, few authors have distanced themselves from the otherising discourse that has dominated those relations. It is thanks to them that, starting from the 18th century, Englishness could rise and thrived to the detriment of those peoples, European and non-European, located in Southern latitudes. Thanks to his Polynesian works, he has been appropriately considered a sort of avant-la-lettre postcolonial author. If at that time there was an exoticism which rhymed with colonialism (Pierre Loti, Rudyard Kipling), there also was an exoticism which tried to distance itself from the colonial project and endeavoured to come to terms with alterity rather than identity. The aim of this essay is to survey his Polynesian essayistic (In the South Seas) and creative works (‘The Beach of Falesa’) and see in what ways he resisted the deculturing British action, as far as sex/gender and race are concerned.

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