One of our members is engaged in translating some of Barrie's work into Italian. She has some questions. Some are easily answered, but there are others which offer the opportunity for a lot of discussion. So McConnachie's seemed like a great place to open up the debate. Please contribute your thoughts and knowledge.
Question 1: In the speech ‘Courage’ (1922) Barrie refers to an ‘unfinished play’ Does anyone recognise this?
I do not know whether you are grown a little tired of that word hero, but I am sure the heroes are. That is the subject of one of our unfinished plays; M'Connachie is the one who writes the plays. If any one of you here proposes to be a playwright you can take this for your own and finish it. The scene is a school, schoolmasters present, but if you like you could make it a university, professors present. They are discussing an illuminated scroll about a student fallen in the war, which they have kindly presented to his parents; and unexpectedly the parents enter. They are an old pair, backbent, they have been stalwarts in their day but have now gone small; they are poor, but not so poor that they could not send their boy to college. They are in black, not such a rusty black either, and you may be sure she is the one who knows what to do with his hat. Their faces are gnarled, I suppose--but I do not need to describe that pair to Scottish students. They have come to thank the Senatus for their lovely scroll and to ask them to tear it up. At first they had been enamoured to read of what a scholar their son was, how noble and adored by all. But soon a fog settled over them, for this grand person was not the boy they knew. He had many a fault well known to them; he was not always so noble; as a scholar he did no more than scrape through.
It seems pretty like a couple of the Echoes plays, but I'm wondering if anyone who is familiar with Barrie's notebooks knows any more about this. Was the play ever any more than an 'idea' of many, in his notebooks?
Please give your comments below. There will be more questions coming up through March.