Treasure Island Treasure Island discussion


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Long John Silver

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message 1: by Sassenach (new)

Sassenach I recently re-read, 'Treasure Island' and am wondering as, referring to the officers and mutineers, R. L. Stevenson could not have been pulling Long John Silver's leg (as then, he wouldn't have a leg to stand on) when he wrote about him ~ and I quote, 'He had still a foot in either camp.'

Could I be the only one, since 1883, to have spotted Stevenson's black (spot) humour ... which begs the question, what's afoot?


message 2: by Roger (last edited May 13, 2012 12:05AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Roger Weston I never noticed that. Now that you point it out, it is funny.

What a great book, too. Treasure Island is one of my favorites.


Chris Silver was based on a friend of Stevenson's, W E Hanley, who was just such a bluff man, from Gloucestershire in England, who had a similar physical affliction. Having read the book recently I do have a sense of RLS's humour, though I'd be hard pressed to point to one similar to the example quoted.


message 4: by Jessica (new) - added it

Jessica I loved Treasure Island! Just to let you all know there has been a sequel to Treasure Island written by the brilliant poet Andrew Motion aptly called 'Silver'


message 5: by Chris (last edited May 10, 2012 03:11PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Chris Jessica wrote: "I loved Treasure Island! Just to let you all know there has been a sequel to Treasure Island written by the brilliant poet Andrew Motion aptly called 'Silver'"

I read an interesting piece by Andrew Motion in the Guardian a few weeks ago (March 9th) on writing Silver Return to Treasure Island, but sadly the article is no longer available online.


Sparrowlicious Can you actually really consider something a sequel if it was not written by the original author? Wouldn't that rather be a spin-off? Just saying.


Chris Sparrowlicious wrote: "Can you actually really consider something a sequel if it was not written by the original author? Wouldn't that rather be a spin-off? Just saying."

As I understand it, a sequel is something that 'follows on' chronologically, and Motion's novel certainly does that; therefore it's not essential that the same author writes it. It's possible to argue that Silver is the 'hero' (anti-hero, if you prefer) of Treasure Island and that Silver is very properly a sequel to his activities in Stevenson's original.

On the other hand, a spin-off to me suggests something that goes off obliquely from the main course, and which doesn't need to happen in exact sequence to the original. That dire Supergirl movie of the 70s was a spin-off of the first two successful Christopher Reeve Superman movies; essentially it had nothing to say about the action in the Reeve movies (and yes I know Supergirl was originally one of the Krypton characters in the DC stable).

In a way, many film prequels are spin-offs, as with the recent X-Men example, or Smallville (where Clark gets to meet everybody significant before he even gets to be Supie). I can't think of many books off the top of my head, but J K Rowling's three novellas related to the main HP sequence (Tales of Beedle the Bard, Fantastic Beasts, Quidditch) are very definitely spin-offs. Though in a way you can see them as prequels (pretty much predating Harry's adventures) I prefer to regard them as spin-offs.


Sparrowlicious On a different note: isn't the continuation by another author just "fanfiction", if you take a modern word for it? Somehow that makes it seem quite controversal if someone else writes a sequel if they are not the original author. o_o


Chris Sparrowlicious wrote: "On a different note: isn't the continuation by another author just "fanfiction", if you take a modern word for it? Somehow that makes it seem quite controversal if someone else writes a sequel if t..."

I suppose 'fanfiction' could be seen as a modern term for a sequel by another author, but this seems to rather limit the possibilities. It assumes that (a) the sequel author is a 'fan' (not all writers of, say, Bond novels after Fleming died may necessarily have been fans: they may have been writing on commission); and (b) 'fanfiction' seems to me to imply amateur mishmashes of popular genres and works, such as can be seen on Goodreads postings: very few have artistic merit, and even fewer are likely to be commercially viable.

Clumsy though it may be, a term like 'other author sequel' describes exactly what is going on. A quick search engine trawl seemed to suggest that no other preferred term exists.

Other than Motion's sequel, other authors that spring to mind who have had sequels foisted posthumously on them are Jane Austen (see a useful list on http://www.pemberley.com/janeinfo/aus...) and James Barrie (Peter Pan in Scarlet by Geraldine McCaughrean).


message 10: by Chris (last edited Jul 27, 2012 08:52AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Chris Apparently Frank Delaney's sequel to TI, The Curse of Treasure Island, is due to be republished early autumn. Delaney's short intro to its origins are here: http://www.frankdelaney.com/work.php?...
It was originally published under a pseudonym, taken from the names of his two sons.


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