Author Topic: About the "Kissing pretty boys" article  (Read 1086 times)

Sylvia8

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About the "Kissing pretty boys" article
« on: August 12, 2020, 08:10:54 PM »
Hi everyone,

I'm new to the forum. I'm Sylvia from Belgium. My mothertongue is french so please excuse my sometimes poor English.

I wasn't a fan of Peter Pan when I was a child but in 2008 I think, I watched Finding Neverland and thought: "Oh James Barrie was like me!". I'm still a little afraid he wasn't though (I know the article was made to be cynical though so it's reassuring) because we will never know so if someone could explain to me what the article about kissing pretty boys meant. I didn't understand it wholy because I'm not a native English speaker so if someone could explain it to me with their own words and by telling me who says what cause I didn't understand that quite well too, I would be very glad.

Looking forward to receiving your answers,

Sylvia

Brutus

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Re: About the "Kissing pretty boys" article
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2020, 04:23:19 PM »
Hi Sylvia8. Your English is fine, no apology necessary!

First of all, I would like to point out that Finding Neverland is a complete travesty and work of fiction  which bears little resemblance to Barrie's life and the story of his relationship with the Llewelyn Davies family. Andrew Birkin's BBC drama The Lost Boys is the best film on the subject by far.

The article on pretty boys was one Barrie wrote when he worked on the Nottingham Journal in 1882-83 (long before he met the LD family) and was meant to be humorous - although it seems many readers did not appreciate his sense of humour! I don't know when it featured in Finding Neverland film, and in what context so am not sure what explanation you're looking for,  but if you want to read the full text, it features on page 13 of Andrew Birkin's book JM Barrie and the Lost Boys, based on the BBC series.




andrew

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Re: About the "Kissing pretty boys" article
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2020, 01:24:43 PM »
Barrie wrote the article "Pretty Boys" under his pseudonym "Hippomenes" in The Nottingham Journal on 28 January 1884. As Brutus points out, this was intended as a spoof, sending up the then fashion among middle-class mothers of dressing up their pretty little boys to look like pretty little girls. A couple of years later, Frances Hodgson Burnett took the fashion to new heights in her best-selling book, Little Lord Fauntleroy, so in some sense Barrie beat her to it.

I quoted a chunk of the article in my book, but have just uploaded a photocopy of the whole thing to the database - just search for "pretty boys".  In passing, I spotted the name of my great grandfather - "Mr T I Birkin" - on the same page, presiding as a JP on the Magistrates' Court bench. He was extremely wealthy, having founded the business that made Nottingham lace curtains, but nonetheless seems to have condemned some poor sap to six week's hard labour for stealing an overcoat in the dead of winter. From such merciful stock have I evolved ...

Sylvia8

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Re: About the "Kissing pretty boys" article
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2020, 08:49:38 AM »
Thank you for your answers Misters Brutus and Birkin,

I have watched mister Birkin's documentary on YouTube at least 3 times since he posted it (I wasn't born in 1978 (not even 10 years later) and didn't know it until a few months ago) and I still think the same of J.M.Barrie (but I've read the rules of the forum and I know we can't talk about it so I won't go any further). It's the best work on J.M. Barrie, indeed! I still didn't quite understand the article about Kissing Pretty Boys when I read it. (I didn't find it in Finding Neverland. I read it online). I knew it was meant to be humorous but I didn't understand its subject very well so I was a little worried about it (because why would you kiss pretty boys?) so thank both of you for the explanations. They have helped me, I understand more now about the fashion. Barrie was ahead of his time, indeed then.

It's a funny coincidence your great grandfather was on the same page, Mister Birkin. Cheers to evolution :D

Sincerely,

Sylvia
« Last Edit: August 20, 2020, 11:01:55 AM by Sylvia8 »

andrew

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Re: About the "Kissing pretty boys" article
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2020, 11:01:11 AM »
To the best of my knowledge there are no house rules that prevent you from posting anything you like, so long as it isn't racist/sexist/libellous/fake news etc - so feel free to talk about "it", whatever "it" might be...

Sylvia8

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Re: About the "Kissing pretty boys" article
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2020, 10:30:28 PM »
Thank you.

I think I had read we couldn't talk about sexual orientation,... I'm still just going to say, I don't think Barrie was a peadophile at all. I was just scared about the "Kissing Pretty Boys" article though cause I didn't know what it meant. I think he was like me. I know we can't know for sure but I also think people have a sort of radar for those things when they are concerned and I think if he hadn't written Peter Pan about 120 years ago, that I could have come up with the idea in his place so like Nicholas Llewelyn Davies says, there is a reason to it... I think he was right.

Have a nice evening everyone.

Sylvia
« Last Edit: August 22, 2020, 12:23:36 PM by Sylvia8 »

Brutus

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Re: About the "Kissing pretty boys" article
« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2020, 09:59:31 AM »
As Andrew pointed out, there are no restrictions on topics for discussion here (apart from the ones he lists) and the subject of Barrie's sexual orientation has been discussed in the past. The accusation of paedophilia has come up, in particular due to Piers Dudgeon's dodgy so-called biography, where he happily twists the facts to suit his theories. Barrie did indeed like the company of children, but he also had many adult friends, both male and female. He was attracted by female beauty, as evidenced by his marriage to Mary Ansell and his friendship with Sylvia LD - although these never lead to sexual relationship. In his lifetime, there never was a whiff of scandal about him.

It is believed he may have been asexual. When asked pointedly, Nico Llewelyn Davies asserted that Barrie felt "no stirrings in the undergrowth for anyone: man, woman, child or dog".

Going back to the "pretty boys" article, I think Barrie's humour was quite particular to his time and doesn't always work 100 years later!


Sylvia8

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Re: About the "Kissing pretty boys" article
« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2020, 11:28:48 AM »
I agree 100 %. I asked myself: Am I not grown up? When am I going to grow up? So I can totally see the link he made in his mind. I don't think a paedophile would think that but think: "What the... Why am I attracted to kids?". And yes, children think you're one of them. My 2 best friends are my age, they are 2 sisters and when we were 19 year old teenagers, I would go to their house to visit them and they have a little brother and sister and when I wasn't there, they phoned me and said: "Please come and see our big sisters so you can play with us. You're not looking for a boyfriend like my sisters. When you come, they want to go out and party and search for a boyfriend with you but you don't want to, you like to come to see my sisters and us too" so the scene with Michael in mister Birkin's documentary with the "You're not a grown up" spoke to me. They just see you're not interested in grown up things and you feel too that someday, they will and they will outgrow you and I have this feeling about them right now. So with all that, you just need a wee bit of imagination to create a magic world (and around children, it's an easy peasy piece of cake, they ARE imagination and love for adventure incarnated) and have a tragedy of a young person who left this world too early in your life (and I have had that too in a way (my unborn brother or sister)) and there you have Peter Pan. I don't see how a paedophile would think that because the children outgrow them in body not in mind and I hate that they compare them to us when they are the contrary.

That's why when some people say Peter Pan is a genius work, I just see it's J.M.B.'s life, like the rest of his works. He spoke about his life in them. He had a genius touch but all he writes is his life.

I also read Tommy & Grizel and was like: "Feel ya, the struggle is real, man!". I detect hints of aromantism in it too (though everyone can be aromantic) in the way that he wants a relationship but questions himself if he's really in love and he doesn't want to marry.

I even read one of Nicholas' letters to mister Birkin here yesterday and Barrie asked Nico: "Could you explain this term to me?" and Nico said: "Well it means she has slept with many men before, Uncle Jim" and I was like: "I'm so like this too :D. I just don't get those things". I don't say everyone who is like me doesn't but I don't.

Yes esthetic attraction is one of the only attractions we have so I understand why he fell for the most beautiful women.

He didn't seek for children either and I think it's a huge difference. Mary Ansell wanted a dog. Barrie and her walked the dog in a park because in London not many people have a big garden but there are many public parks and there happens to have children in them so I think it's important it was a public space. Some people say: but he spied his favourite author so he might have spied the children, as he knew George du Maurier from name so wanted to make contact with the family... When he was looking for his author, he was a child and children are curious and for the 2nd one well maybe but to enter in contact with Sylvia or with her children?And why not contact George du Maurier directly? Maybe his shyness... And I think it's important to stress that the Peter Pan Syndrome exists because if moreover he had it, then he still emotionally behaved like a child but I don't know if he had it or not. Maybe it's where his "kidnap them and make them my own" came from and a peadophile kidnaps but here it means so we can escape reality and a peadophile doesn't want to make children his own children. Children PLAY PRETEND being mom and dad. I think his "It would be cruel to ask a boy to love. Boys canNOT love." speaks volumes too because an adult like us can't love and knows that children can't either (they may find another child cute or have a kind of crush but that's it) when paedophiles would ask children to be adults! Barrie says the contrary.

I agree for his humour too. I think he had a special kind of humour.

If someone wants to use this text for an article someday, if you want to interview me, you can. If it can give Barrie a bit of dignity back after mister Dudgeon's book... I know it's not proof, just my feelings but I don't know if asexual people have already been interviewed for this. Feel free to use this text anyway and ask me more questions if you want to cause I have more to say. I'm sometimes in London.

Sincerely,

Sylvia

« Last Edit: September 08, 2020, 08:31:19 AM by Sylvia8 »

Sylvia8

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Re: About the "Kissing pretty boys" article
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2020, 09:42:34 AM »
This song reminds me of Tommy & Grizel: Aromantic Moodboard II ORIGINAL SONG II. I can totally see a modern Barrie liking it :D You can watch the lyrics on YT :D

He didn't love in the eros way (with passion) but in the agape way (loving characteristics of the person, not the person herself, loving in a friend way, that's how he loved Sylvia, it's the platonic love. It's one of the most beautiful ones. I'm happy for the coincidence that I'm a Sylvia in a Barrie's mind ahahah).

Have a nice day everyone :D

Sylvia
« Last Edit: September 06, 2020, 11:21:18 AM by Sylvia8 »

Dani1923

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Re: About the "Kissing pretty boys" article
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2020, 06:35:32 PM »
Sylvia, I definitely agree with you! Despite being 25, I donít feel like I ever grew up and Iím not sure if I ever will. I never want to have children of my own but I love being around other peopleís small children and having fun with them.
I participated in a community theatre company for six years and I have wonderful memories of spending time with some of the children there!
Thatís one way I relate to JMB.
But I also like him because I wish I had a father like him. My father has never been fatherly.
So you are definitely not alone with having these feelings!

Sylvia8

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Re: About the "Kissing pretty boys" article
« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2020, 11:32:59 AM »
:) I love children but I don't want to make any naturally so I love my family's ones or my friends' ones but I don't seek the attention of any of them. I think many people can relate when we say children are a joy in life but with asexuals, it's a special bond because if the little brother and sister of my best friends didn't see their sisters for a week because they were at their boyfriend's house, it was ok for them and normal but me? No, I had to come because to them, I was their buddy. I had to have full time for them cause I wasn't interested in a boyfriend. They didn't cry or shouted after their sisters when they left for one week. They cried and shouted after me when I left for the same period of time. They see their father will always have their wife in mind and vice versa and they see we are not like that. We have the time only for them, only to play. But they also realize they can't be little savages and play all the time and that to have a mother figure is great. It just makes me laugh and a little proud to see them liking you more anyway. Some thought the little girl was my daughter, makes me think of Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens :D We would make the best parents, life is cruel.

Must be fun to work in a theatre!

I'm sorry for your relationship with your father...
« Last Edit: September 08, 2020, 08:28:03 AM by Sylvia8 »

Dani1923

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Re: About the "Kissing pretty boys" article
« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2020, 01:14:35 PM »
100% agree with everything you said!  :D And yes it is fun to work in theatre! I highly recommend it if that kind of thing interests you!
Also thanks for the condolences about me and my father.

Sincerely,

Dani
« Last Edit: September 06, 2020, 01:17:14 PM by Dani1923 »

Sylvia8

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Re: About the "Kissing pretty boys" article
« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2020, 02:34:47 PM »
Actually, I had applied in a theatre in London! But I'm not an accountant enough.

You're welcome.

I read the article. Thank you again Mister Birkin for posting it. I could reply to a comment on The Lost Boys Part 2 about it now. I didn't see anything bad in it. Mister Barrie has a bad reputation because of mister Piers Dudgeon's book indeed.

Sincerely,

Sylvia
« Last Edit: September 08, 2020, 08:29:45 AM by Sylvia8 »