Sunday, September 6, 2009

Smashing Review!

I have already mentioned, or you may have noticed a certain "Anonymous" whose commentary has been a great asset to this site. I always look forward to the insights and information given by the mysterious Barrie and Pan fan.

Well, Anonymous has gone one step further. Thank you, Anon, for your wonderful review on Amazon. I'm glad my novel made you so happy.

Anon's review is here.
Thanks again!

Please allow me to address the issues raised within the review.

Yes, the many characters result from presenting an entire thriving world. The Pans are the main focus of this novel. It has been the plan to further develop the other characters in future adventures.

Regarding certain characters still being alive:

There are a number of reasons for my including them. If one checks back with Barrie, it’s unclear as to whether or not the Neverland halts the aging process while on its shores. Certainly the promise of not growing up there is part of popular culture. But since I’m all about adhering to Barrie, I examined closer when I began the novel.

Barrie wove the timeline of the events into actual history. It would not otherwise be possible for Captain Hook (for instance) to still be around when the Darling children arrived. Thus, it's only logical that some "magic" is preserving them.

When referring to the Lost Boys, the actual text of Peter and Wendy says “seem to be growing up.” Seem – a very ambiguous word. And since Peter’s perception and assessment is being spoken of in that passage, it’s prone to his faulty judgments.

Barrie describes Peter Pan having an affect on the mood of the Neverland. So Peter also belongs to the Fisher King archetype. It’s entirely possible that his own magic of eternal youth infects the island.

In theory, the other inhabitants of the island must always be there for other children to discover and play with/agaisnt, as Pan stories are passed down through generations in the world of Barrie. Death is, of course, also a reality in the Neverland. Children past Wendy, John and Michael Darling cannot have the terrible joy of fighting Hook. But fortunately, new adventures crop up all the time.

The way I see it, it’s a choice, or an event perhaps (such as the enticement of the mainland instead), that changes the stakes and makes one grow up. Peter Pan is the only one who chooses to remain a child.

There are other reasons for the eternal youth/life of the inhabitants, but I'll leave you to discover those within the pages of Peter Pan’s NeverWorld.

Thus, I’m pleased to be able to go along with the popular notion of “never grow up in the Neverland” via support from the actual words of Barrie.

Thanks for reading!

* The "Anon" image used is cropped from the first page of the first draft of Peter Pan dated November 23, 1903. The full page can be found on the amazing page of Barrie guru Andrew Birkin. The link is in the sidebar.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You're SO welcome! ^_^ Between you and me there are more than enough happy thoughts to travel all over the NeverWorld and back again! Thank you not only for your glowing words about my review on your blog, but also for commenting on it and explaining the parts that bothered me--as always, you give me a greater appreciation for the Peter Pan universe than I already had!

The underdeveloped characters are still a problem in this one book alone, but the fact that you plan to develop them later makes it forgivable, and I did have trouble making the timeline work myself (how Hook, an 18th-century figure, could have lasted so long, for example), so I'm glad you were able to find a Barrie explanation for it and now the existence of old characters fits just fine! ^_^

That being said, since you've mentioned it already in your blog, it hardly seems fair to go back and edit my review, which would seem to nullify your explanation here (not sure if I can edit it once it's been posted anyway--haven't tried), but nothing's stopping me from taking your words into account in a review on, is there? ;) (And that site needs one!)