Tuesday, March 31, 2009

To Never Not Add a Never?

Oddly, I don’t believe this variant occurred to me until just last night:
Never Never World.
Originally Barrie had another “never” listed for the name:
Never, Never, Never Land.
One too many? Barrie thought so, too, eventually.
In one of his many revisions to the play, it became just the two. Then, when it came time for the novel, he not only dropped one of the two but eliminated the space. The Neverland. Barrie preferred the book, so it seems a safe assumption that he preferred this name for the magical isle as well. However, his screenplay written about a decade later once again calls it Never, Never Land. Thus, he did not entirely abandon the moniker. Therefore, both are correct, depending on how silly you’re feeling at the time.

I chose to label the planet simply NeverWorld to remain consistent with the novel, as I continued the story in book form. Oh sure, I used a pinch or so from the play and a little more from Barrie’s unused screenplay. But I didn’t see the need for the extra “Never” in front of World. World is capitalized to help differentiate the new home as well as a nod to the original upper case of Land. In this way it is different, and the same.

In my yet-to-be-completed interquel Peter Pan: Betwixt-and-Between, I make a joke, of sorts, out of Never-Never-Never Land. Peter frustrates the fairies by becoming fixated on the repetition. “Isn’t one Never as much as anyone needs?”
So, if you’re feeling particularly verbose or better yet, silly… go ahead and say
Never Never World. But, technically, it’s “less correct.”

UPDATE:  Peter Pan: Betwixt-and-Between is now availabe in paperback and e-book.

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