According to Stevenson, the use of words relies on a logical continuity based on a careful choice highlighting the contrast and balance among them. The goal of art is thus established in the creation of a stable structure made up of the writer’s thoughts and expressed through the harmonization of textual elements. In his South Sea tales Stevenson works on the balancing of different styles, and tries to give coherence to a whole discourse made up of languages spoken by people belonging to various social classes and different racial communities. Conrad’s appeal to the solidarity which ‘binds all men together’ seems to be achieved through the same harmonization of style. The novels set in the Pacific and in the Congo show also the essential role of language in all daily activities and its purpose of establishing a relationship between people in the colonies: business, love affairs, and the encounter of two cultures at large are characterized by various linguistic codes. These codes apply to different situations and language becomes the mirror of the relationships among the characters, it doesn’t only display their racial and social status, but says much about their personal lives, too. In many cases, the protagonists’ way of speaking establishes their social diversity, which persists in their idioms. Language is, first and foremost, a personal identifier: the way of talking portrays the moral disposition of the characters. This paper examines the variety of styles and languages adopted by Stevenson and Conrad in their colonial writings, which mirror the articulated, multifarious reality of the imperial world. The analysis of the uses of linguistic codes in some works written by the two authors naturally leads to the conclusion that they both were deeply aware of the impact colonization had on the linguistic condition of the colonies and underlines their interest for the way different languages could combine and influence human existence.

“‘...the voices talked and whispered’: Stevenson, Conrad and the Languages of Colonialism”

ZULLI T
2006

Abstract

According to Stevenson, the use of words relies on a logical continuity based on a careful choice highlighting the contrast and balance among them. The goal of art is thus established in the creation of a stable structure made up of the writer’s thoughts and expressed through the harmonization of textual elements. In his South Sea tales Stevenson works on the balancing of different styles, and tries to give coherence to a whole discourse made up of languages spoken by people belonging to various social classes and different racial communities. Conrad’s appeal to the solidarity which ‘binds all men together’ seems to be achieved through the same harmonization of style. The novels set in the Pacific and in the Congo show also the essential role of language in all daily activities and its purpose of establishing a relationship between people in the colonies: business, love affairs, and the encounter of two cultures at large are characterized by various linguistic codes. These codes apply to different situations and language becomes the mirror of the relationships among the characters, it doesn’t only display their racial and social status, but says much about their personal lives, too. In many cases, the protagonists’ way of speaking establishes their social diversity, which persists in their idioms. Language is, first and foremost, a personal identifier: the way of talking portrays the moral disposition of the characters. This paper examines the variety of styles and languages adopted by Stevenson and Conrad in their colonial writings, which mirror the articulated, multifarious reality of the imperial world. The analysis of the uses of linguistic codes in some works written by the two authors naturally leads to the conclusion that they both were deeply aware of the impact colonization had on the linguistic condition of the colonies and underlines their interest for the way different languages could combine and influence human existence.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11564/716080
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