Truth is harder to tell than a lie
November 30, 2014 8:44 AM   Subscribe

The habitual liar may be a very honest fellow, and live truly with his wife and friends; while another man who never told a formal falsehood in his life may yet be himself one lie-heart and face, from top to bottom. This is the kind of lie which poisons intimacy. And, vice versa, veracity to sentiment, truth in a relation, truth to your own heart and your friends, never to feign or falsify emotion—that is the truth which makes love possible and mankind happy. Robert Louis Stevenson on truth and writing.
posted by shivohum (5 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
Robert Louis Stevenson is one of the great writers, neglected by academics ever since his early death and modernism tried to sweep him under the rug as an old-fashioned children's romantic. I've read a significant portion of his oeuvre and each is a little different. One of my favorites is the short story "A Lodging for the Night", set in 1456, on a snowy night in Paris.
posted by stbalbach at 10:29 AM on November 30, 2014 [7 favorites]

I wish more people read Robert Louis Stevenson. He was a great-hearted person, and everything he wrote was suffused with his generosity of spirit. As anyone can see from this essay.
posted by acrasis at 2:19 PM on November 30, 2014 [2 favorites]

Policy of Truth
posted by telstar at 5:30 PM on November 30, 2014

The collected short stories of RLS is a must-have for any home library. One of my favorites is Markheim, which bears similarities to (and was probably directly influenced by) Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment.
posted by Atom Eyes at 6:34 PM on November 30, 2014 [2 favorites]

Also "The Bottle Imp, which is sort of like O. Henry's "Gift of the Magi" except with damnation instead of a comb.
posted by murphy slaw at 7:29 AM on December 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

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