Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Barry in Love

Barrie in Love

“Literature as a dialogue,
never-ceasing. In order
to say anything about another
person I must do more than
simply present him, more
even than simply interpret
him; I must put forth my
own view; and in so doing
I create a kind of sub-literature
or para-literature that 
complements the original work.”
—Joyce Carol Oates
 “Lawrence's Götterdämmerung:
The Apocalyptic Vision of Women
in Love,” Contraries: Essays

Barrie’s desire for an eternal union with boyhood is thwarted and his failure leads directly to Peter Pan and indirectly to the death of the Davies boys.

At least this is Barrie’s conviction. “They should have loved me," he says to Wendy and she, frightened, replies without sympathy, "What difference would it have made!"

It is only in a symbolic dimension that the men and boys are lovers; consciously, in the daylight world, they can never be anything more than friends.

In Lawrence’s “Women in Love,” the chapter "Gladiatorial" has the men wrestle together in order to stir Gerald from his boredom. They seem to "drive their white flesh deeper and deeper against each other, as if they would break into a oneness."

Barrie’s effort is such that both a man and a boy lose consciousness and Barrie falls for George and Michael involuntarily. Merging with and returning to boyhood at least in his Peter Pan imagination.

When their minds are gone their opposition to each other is gone and they can become united—but only temporarily, only until Barrie regains his consciousness and moves away.

At the novel's conclusion Barrie is "happily" married to Peter Pan, yet incomplete. He will never be a reasonably content and normal man, a husband to the passionate Wendy, yet unfulfilled; and one cannot quite believe that his frustrated love for Peter Pan will not surface in another form.

Barrie’s failure is not merely his own but civilization's as well: men and boys are inexorably opposed, the integration of the two halves of the human soul is an impossibility in our time.

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