Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

The Admirable Crichton, Mary Rose: J.M. Barrie

There are clergymen in both these plays. One is a young man who plays cricket. The other is an old man who collects prints. We like them. They are good eggs- and about the last persons one would go to for insight and spiritual advice.  Veils are rent around them and they notice nothing. They do not even have inappropriate things to say- as they might have done if these were anti-clerical plays.  How does one speak of spiritual realities when even the professionals are out of the habit? 
Reality (what we call reality) is the very thinnest surface sheen- a gleam of oil on water. The things that are really going on are going on out of sight. That is true even in The Admirable Crichton, which seems to be a frothy social comedy with a citrusy squeeze of satire, but is really a drama about the iron laws of the universe and how they grind us. With Mary Rose things are a little plainer. Mary has been away with the fairies- and all we see of her is a wisp, a something left over, a poor ignorant ghost. Her real life is elsewhere. We are taken to the threshold of that real life and abandoned. Whereof we cannot speak, we must remain silent. 
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