Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Peter Pan and Lost Memories

From The New Yorker:
To lose the ability to fly is to lose the supremacy of the imagination over reality: it’s the demise of enchantment itself. Peter has the keenest imagination of all the Lost Boys. Alone among them, he makes no distinction between a meal of real and imagined foodstuffs; for him, the conceptual and the tangible are interchangeable. He has the most at stake as adulthood beckons, and he’s the most determined to hold on to his boyish fabrications. He will not grow up. This may seem an easy way out of life’s difficulties, but Peter is also singular among the Lost Boys in suffering chronic nightmares, from which Wendy can only half protect him:
For hours he could not be separated from these dreams, though he wailed piteously in them. They had to do, I think, with the riddle of his existence. At such times it had been Wendy’s custom to take him out of bed and sit with him on her lap, soothing him… and when he grew calmer to put him back to bed before he quite woke up, so that he should not know of the indignity to which she had subjected him.
The riddle of his existence? Barrie, who can take an omniscient viewpoint with the most confident of authors, suddenly pulls back from judgment. It seems that if Peter refuses the burdens of adulthood, his refusal brings burdens of its own. (Read entire article.)

No comments: