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Somehow, the pop singer makes more sense now … er, never mind

July 24, 2008

Because we’re always up for rehashing scandal … er, um … right?

An obsessive stalker, an impotent husband, a lover of young boys… to some, the creator of ‘Peter Pan’ was an evil genius; to others, a misunderstood ingenue. Ever mindful of the J.M. Barrie ‘curse’, Justine Picardie investigates

‘May God blast anyone who writes a biography of me,’ declared J.M. Barrie, in a curse scrawled across the pages of one of his last notebooks. Since his death in 1937, this dire warning has not prevented a slew of writers taking him on, the latest of which is Piers Dudgeon, whose book Captivated is subtitled The Dark Side of Never Never Land, and examines what he believes to be Barrie’s sinister influence over the du Maurier family.

Dudgeon’s portrait of Barrie – as a man who filled the vacuum of his own sexual impotence by a compulsive desire to possess the family who inspired his most famous creation, Peter Pan – is entirely at odds with the Hollywood version, Finding Neverland, in which Johnny Depp portrayed the author as a charming hero, devoted to large dogs and small children. Here was the quirky little man who had already been celebrated by his contemporaries as a genius with a great heart, not least for his bequest of the copyright of Peter Pan to Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, thus ensuring that the golden fairy-dust of his writing was liberally sprinkled over those in need.

Justine Picardie’s article for the Telegraph is sordid enough, just the thing to raise your spirits if the summer sunshine is getting a little too monotonous, the list of calls you haven’t answered has grown longer than you want to think about, or you’re still recovering from too many rounds after getting kicked out of a Judas Priest show for the high crime of attempting to buy a drink.

You know how it goes: They think I’m drunk? Well, I’ll show them!

At any rate, I digress. It seems to me Picardie is writing a review, so if there’s not enough sickness to satisfy the craving, well … um … okay, it is not our place at SCWC to appear to be endorsing books. Unless, of course, they’re from our friends. Er … yeah.

Anyway, I’m off to recuperate in the sun for a couple of days. (Really, the place is actually called Sunland.) Next week I’ll be back and taking my life seriously, and we’ll take some time to get to know our workshop leaders for SCWC Los Angeles #6.

Be good, y’all.

-bd

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