Here you have freedom in love and in morality mocking exquisitely at slavery to them, and interesting you, attracting you, tempting you, inexplicably forcing you to range the hero with his enemy the statue on a transcendant plane, leaving the prudish daughter and her priggish lover on a crockery shelf below to live piously ever after. If it were only the first half hour's happiness, Tavy, I would buy it for you with my last penny. He gets into intimate relations with them to study them, to strip the mask of convention from them, to surprise their inmost secrets, knowing that they have the power to rouse his deepest creative energies, to rescue him from his cold reason, to make him see visions and dream dreams, to inspire him, as he calls it. Mr John Tanner suddenly opens the door and enters. We must all face it someday. Obsequiousness, servility, cupidity roused by the prevailing smell of money. The prosaic Englishman, he states, is like all prosaic people — stupid.
Noyes, before his death, believed that the commune would not function properly without his leadership; therefore, he dismantled the Perfectionist community, and the members eventually integrated back into mainstream society. Not that I disclaim the fullest responsibility for his opinions and for those of all my characters, pleasant and unpleasant. May I call you Jack until I can think of something else? You were of mature age when you made the suggestion; and you knew your man. But I haven't read your book, Jack. Ramsden's feelings are beyond words.
Hence there is a driving towards truth in all books on matters where the writer, though exceptionally gifted is normally constituted, and has no private axe to grind. When his swagger is exhausted he drivels into erotic poetry or sentimental uxoriousness; and the Tennysonian King Arthur posing as Guinevere becomes Don Quixote grovelling before Dulcinea. It's only too hideously true. Mrs Whitefield, by the way, is a little woman, whose faded flaxen hair looks like straw on an egg. His sensuality having destroyed all faith in the spirit world, he then visited the tomb of the murdered man and challenged his statue to follow him to supper. We are as much in a dilemma as you.
Aristocracy and plutocracy still furnish the figureheads of politics; but they are now dependent on the votes of the promiscuously bred masses. Yes: that's what surprises me. The study, handsomely and solidly furnished, proclaims the man of means. Those who can are men of genius: that is, men selected by Nature to carry on the work of building up an intellectual consciousness of her own instinctive purpose. It's all my own doing: that's the horrible irony of it.
And so your Don Juan has come to birth as a stage projection of the tragi-comic love chase of the man by the woman; and my Don Juan is the quarry instead of the huntsman. Please book with your preferred restaurant — or in the case of Masaki Sushi, order your take-out lunch — and mention you are attending the Man and Superman event. She is to him the reality of romance, the leaner good sense of nonsense, the unveiling of his eyes, the freeing of his soul, the abolition of time, place and circumstance, the etherealization of his blood into rapturous rivers of the very water of life itself, the revelation of all the mysteries and the sanctification of all the dogmas. The more things a man is ashamed of, the more respectable he is. And he is dumb: he does not discuss himself with a Sganarelle-Leporello or with the fathers or brothers of his mistresses: he does not even, like Casanova, tell his own story. When you want to give me a piece of your mind, you ask yourself, as a just and upright man, what is the worst you can fairly say of me.
Faulconbridge, Coriolanus, Leontes are admirable descriptions of instinctive temperaments: indeed the play of Coriolanus is the greatest of Shakespear's comedies; but description is not philosophy; and comedy neither compromises the author nor reveals him. As for me, what I have always wanted is a pit of philosophers; and this is a play for such a pit. I detest its prejudices; I scorn its narrowness; I demand the right to think for myself. Is it not therefore presumptuous for him to write a Don Juan play? For example, the Perfectionists abolished property ownership; no material possessions were coveted. So we may disport ourselves on our own plane to the top of our bent; and if any gentleman points out that neither this epistle dedicatory nor the dream of Don Juan in the third act of the ensuing comedy is suitable for immediate production at a popular theatre we need not contradict him. The vitality which places nourishment and children first, heaven and hell a somewhat remote second, and the health of society as an organic whole nowhere, may muddle successfully through the comparatively tribal stages of gregariousness; but in nineteenth century nations and twentieth century empires the determination of every man to be rich at all costs, and of every woman to be married at all costs, must, without a highly scientific social organization, produce a ruinous development of poverty, celibacy, prostitution, infant mortality, adult degeneracy, and everything that wise men most dread. Let me press this point on you, since you are too clever to raise the fool's cry of paradox whenever I take hold of a stick by the right instead of the wrong end.
A romantic comedy, an epic fairytale, a fiery philosophical debate, Man and Superman asks fundamental questions about how we live. But I never dreamt of its hurting you. . We must either breed political capacity or be ruined by Democracy, which was forced on us by the failure of the older alternatives. You pose as an advanced man.
Besides, it is Don Juan's own beard that is in danger of plucking. Ann was suggested to me by the fifteenth century Dutch morality called Everyman, which Mr William Poel has lately resuscitated so triumphantly. As I sat watching Everyman at the Charterhouse, I said to myself Why not Everywoman? She'll commit every crime a respectable woman can; and she'll justify every one of them by saying that it was the wish of her guardians. Besides, instead of making herself an eyesore, like her mother, she has devised a mourning costume of black and violet silk which does honor to her late father and reveals the family tradition of brave unconventionality by which Ramsden sets such store. Now if I am to be no mere copper wire amateur but a luminous author, I must also be a most intensely refractory person, liable to go out and to go wrong at inconvenient moments, and with incendiary possibilities.
He has still some of the slimness of youth; but youthfulness is not the effect he aims at: his frock coat would befit a prime minister; and a certain high chested carriage of the shoulders, a lofty pose of the head, and the Olympian majesty with which a mane, or rather a huge wisp, of hazel colored hair is thrown back from an imposing brow, suggest Jupiter rather than Apollo. The secret of the prosaic man's success, such as it is, is the simplicity with which he pursues these ends: the secret of the artistic man's failure, such as that is, is the versatility with which he strays in all directions after secondary ideals. We encourage you to book at the time of your ticket purchase as seating is limited! He is neither one nor the other: he is only a coward. Civilized society is one huge bourgeoisie: no nobleman dares now shock his greengrocer. However, I am digressing, as a man with a grievance always does. But they are concerned with the diversities of the world instead of with its unities: they are so irreligious that they exploit popular religion for professional purposes without delicacy or scruple for example, Sydney Carton and the ghost in Hamlet! Can anyone believe that the new class will measure up to the great responsibility which faces the nation? The implication is clear: When one is comfortable, he has no desire for change, and thus progress is impossible.