February 5th, 2012

Weather Report

The snow began falling around lunch time and continued into the evening. I went out to feed the rabbit and within an hour or two my footprints had been covered over. 

The rabbit has been bouncing around. When we moved him out into the garden I was afraid he'd suffer when winter came. In the event he seems happier and more active the colder it gets. I wish we could move the other two out to join him (and reclaim their room for human occupation) but he'd kill them for invading his space.

This morning it's warmer. A thaw has begun. I no longer feel as if the cold were radiating out from my bones. 

Sentimental Tommy: J.M. Barrie

Tommy Sandys has no character of his own, so he becomes other people. Sometimes for fun and sometimes for advantage. He is very good at it. He can put himself in another person's shoes and articulate their feelings better than they can themselves.  It is a heartless exercise- an exercise of empathy without love.  He is a trickster, a fantasist, an egoist and- like his no-good, dead father- a "masterful man". He is qualified to become one of two things, some sort of criminal or some sort of artist.

Grizel loves him. Grizel is as tough as he is (with as horrid a back story)- but earth and water to his air and fire. She has protections up against his magic. Then there's Elspeth (Tommy's younger sister). She loves him too- worships him, rather- and Tommy values and protects her as the guardian of his ego. Grizel and Elspeth are mortally jealous of one another. At the climax of the novel Tommy is placed in the position of choosing between them. He can't do it. And a deus ex machina rescues him in the nick of time. This story is to be continued...

Sentimental Tommy is Barrie's David Copperfield. But where Dickens dodged self-examination and let his avatar drift into his profession without explanation, Barrie is unsparing in his picking over of the qualities (verging on psychopathology) that go to the making of a writer.