Saturday, August 24, 2019

RAW interviews P. L. Travers


P.L. Travers in 1924 (as Titania in "A Midsummer's Night Dream")

Robert Anton Wilson interviews P.L. Travers (author of the Mary Poppins books) and it's a remarkable dialogue, covering myth, Irish writing and Zen, among other topics. Another fine discovery from Martin Wagner. A couple of bits to give you the idea:

Wilson: Why are myths so important?
Travers: Because they are always being reenacted in the ordinary diurnal world. The whole terrible Patricia Hearst story, for instance, is a reenactment of the Persephone myth, the maiden who disappears into the underworld. Mrs. Thatcher is another goddess figure—a very stern one.

***

Wilson: In the film of Mary Poppins, something got lost. There is a stern or forbidding side to Mary that just was not in the film. She was a less interesting character.
Travers: The film was not true to her at all. It was very glamorous and colorful entertainment but it wasn’t Mary Poppins.

Wilson: Why is that element of sternness or authoritarianism necessary?
Travers: That’s her ordinariness.

Good work, Martin!


4 comments:

Eric Wagner said...

I love this interview.

tony smyth said...

Yes me too.

Manic The Doodler said...

All I ever knew about Mary Poppins was from the movie-- guess it's time to read the books. Great interview...

Rarebit Fiend said...

The Mary Poppins books are much better than the film- I love P.L. Travers and count her as one of my biggest heroes. There something to everything that Travers did and said. I would recommend reading her collection of essays "What the Bee Knows" for anyone who enjoyed the interview.

What an amazing find!