Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

Playing billiards with Robert Louis Stevenson

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Portrait of Robert Louis Stevenson by John Singer Sargent

Often in the evening [Stevenson] would turn into the billiard-room, and there his talk might be heard at its best. A fellow-visitor has given a spirited and sympathetic description of him in those days, and adds: “Once only do I remember seeing him play a game of billiards and a truly remarkable performance it was. He played with all the fire and dramatic intensity that he was apt to put into things. The balls flew wildly about, on or off the table as the case might be, but seldom indeed ever threatened a pocket or got within a hand’s-breadth of a cannon. ‘What a fine thing a game of billiards is,’ he remarked to the astonished onlookers, ‘—once a year or so!'”

Sir Graham Balfour, The Life of Robert Louis Stevenson

Written by nevalalee

January 6, 2013 at 9:50 am

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