Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Barrie in Love II

Barrie in Love II

In Peter Pan, Barrie speaks of the long slow death of the human being in our time, the victory of repressive and mechanical forces over the organic, the pagan.

The mystery religions of antiquity have been destroyed by the systematic, dissecting principle; the artist is driven as a consequence to think in deliberately mythical, archaic, outlawed terms.

How to express the inexpressible? Those characters in Peter Pan that address themselves to the problem—like Closet case Captain Hook—are rhetorical and strident and rather flat; it is in images that Barrie thinks most clearly.

Barrie is too brilliant an artist not to breathe life even into those characters who are in opposition to his own principles.

In a statement that resembles Yeats's conviction that  occult spirits of “A Vision” came to bring him images for his poetry, Barrie indicates a surprising indifference to the very concept of the Apocalypse itself.

“I don’t really care about theories of the Apocalypse .... What I care about is the release of the imagination.... What does the Apocalypse matter, unless in so far as it gives us imaginative release into another vital world?”

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