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Mary Poppins (1934)

av P. L. Travers

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Serier: Mary Poppins (P.L.Travers) (1)

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6,1391581,530 (3.85)207
An extraordinary English nanny blows in on the East Wind with her parrot-headed umbrella and magic carpetbag and introduces her charges, Jane and Michael, to some delightful people and experiences.

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I've said before that Mary Poppins is one of favorite Disney films so when I saw the book at my local library I immediately picked it up despite being an adult and it being a children's book.

If you thought book Mary Poppins is anything like Movie Mary Poppins you would be mistaken. The first thing I thought when reading this 'Why the hell is she a nanny, she acts like she hates kids'. She is constantly pursing her lips in agitation, scorning them for asking questions, and then refusing to answer said questions. It may be all Julie Andrews fault, she has this way of looking at you with a twinkle in her eye that just makes you feel warm and cared for.

One thing I will say about book Mary is that she does have the mysterious whimsy that was captured on screen and in the book Mary and the kids go on many more adventures and see so many fun things. It seems like as long as you are full of imagination you can do, see and go anywhere. Despite Mary's weird demeanor it was a pleasant read, one I can see a parent reading to their kids at night before bed. ( )
  latteslipsticklit | Nov 16, 2023 |
I have to say that this (1934) is a little bit different from Harry Potter (1997), in that it’s more cutesy and chronologically distinct. But, that happens, eventually, and, sometimes (!), it can still be worth it. (As an aside, I think that Mary Poppins is like an older child’s book—the only sort of child’s book, I would read, unless it were an especially artsy one—and Harry Potter is like a, possibly youngish, teen book.) I mean, she’s a nanny. But she is a Jazz Age nanny looking forward, not a cranky hag looking back, and she does have some agency, as well as magic (of course). And it is also a pop children’s book, and I do think that children’s stuff should lean, as an industry, towards the pop end and not go too heavy on the gotta-start-the-mechanization-process-early-for-optimal-bionic-success overly-conscientious parent-zone, like that E.L. Koningsberg girl, of “Museums over Mommies”, and “Saturdays are for Etymology” fame, you know. I mean, honestly, if I wanted to read Shakespeare or Jane Austen I’d read Shakespeare or Jane Austen, and I don’t think we need to be applying accelerated mind-aging cream to kids’ faces and enrolling them in senior citizen classes just because they’re too young for sex, you know.

(shrugs) That’s what I think. (laughs) But if you read my reviews—not that you would, but still—you probably know what I think of the intellectuals, or at least, Rules & Guidelines for Being An Intellectual, you know…. Better to just have a nanny who looks at you funny when you don’t drink your magic syrup, you know. (Don’t worry; she magicked away the health risks, lol.)

…. And sometimes it’s a little stupid, you know. “I can’t have little tea cakes—I don’t want little tea cakes, then! I’m good!…. Maybe I’ll get them for free! Without asking!…. Not that I want them, of course.” 🤪

But I guess that Britishness is an inherited disorder, you know. It’s even gotten to Australia. It’s like a plague; a plague of the clan of Poppins…. 🫨

…. It’s like each chapter is a little brief short story, you know.

I think I like this better than say Laura Ingalls Wilder, you know, although I’m sure some jealous folkie somewhere will think that that’s the Wrong Preference in National Flavor, you know. Although Travers isn’t Home Islands British, you know. I don’t know if that’s the reason, but she is not entirely a slave, you know. Like, her characters kinda step out a little bit. The most original idea Laura had was that men don’t have to have blond hair! 😹 Traversin’ writes a similar type of story—children’s observational comedy—but with a sort of veiled toughness, you know, even if the veiled toughness has to be itself disguised as being polite or something. But there’ll be a dog with a pedigree who wishes he was a little wilder, and it’ll be like Sense & Sensibility, without the romance, only it ends differently. (“Willoughby”).

…. “Well, then, you’re a very bad heathen boy….” There’s a long tradition of Christians using the word “heathen” or “pagan” to mean just bad generally, like bad children—it’s interesting. It’s like that’s the ultimate result of Father Pope’s ego trip obsession about the terrible sex things—like this half-remembered fear, you know: what was bad about paganism? Was it sex? Ooo, it was ~bad~—is that being a heathen is literally for them someone who’s randomly rude to his mother (or his mother’s servant, you know).

I guess it’s not surprising that it’s not a good usage, being the combination of vague thinking and ill-will. There probably are some “pagans” who use the term to mean “whatever Father Pope isn’t”, and indeed I used the term that way myself once, although, gone-and-back-again, I now prefer constructions like “magical religion”, you know, to “paganism”. (“Earth-centric paths” is a more popular expression, but the Spirit of Aquarius debars me from using anybody else’s system, you know.) What I mean is, there is a popular notion that paganism is pornography, and Christianity is chastity, but despite the existence of different views on sex, it really just isn’t like that at all. Consider country music, and country music living. And we know from Paul’s letters that many early Christians supported prostitution, (financially, I mean), and from history that illicit sexualities have often existed in Christian populations. I know from personal experience that what I imagined to be paganism was indeed just pornographic Christianity, and this is common in sex work—the law is transgressed, but many Christian ideas about worth vs shame remain. Sex might exist in an indigenous or magical religious setting, but this won’t be experienced the same as pornographic Christianity—the two simply do not meet under the same moon, but under two different ones. This is not to say that the two experiences are of equal value. This is not even to say that someone might not judge at some point between them. But I simply cannot imagine who that person might be—certainly no one we know. Perhaps we think we know, but we don’t. Until then, there are ideas, some possibly or probably sensible, others rather ill-seeming, but clearly I am not the one to, you know, judge. If I’m lucky, I can judge my own life based on my few ideas and my few experiences. But that’s all.

Incidentally that’s nothing much to do with Pamela’s style herself. The writer is a lamp on nature, and not just art, and nothing else, you know. There is no “art and nothing else”…. What was that line from The Winter’s Tale? “The art itself is Nature”—that’s it….

…. It’s almost like she was writing about it, though, the same as I.

Yes, the Panda and Earth are in the East; Macaw and Fire are in the South; Dolphin and Water are in the West; and Polar Bear and Air are in the North. There you go, an elemental correspondence system for my brand of Wicca, courtesy of the Lost Generation Nanny! I tell you: life always goes on, it never ends, and you never learn all of it….

…. And, you know, nothing comes from nothing. There must always have been God, or else there never could have ~been~. And then, God made the world, and he made it out of himself. What else could it have come from? Nothing? “Nothing comes from nothing. Speak again.”

…. It IS kinda funny how Mary Poppins is a little neurotic. There’s something in allowing the people who take care of the children to be JUST people. People don’t think that way, of course. I remember I wanted to work (was it to volunteer?) at the YMCA—the form: I suppose there are children!—warned in very Poppins-like terms, to make damn sure that you’d never been unemployed, and that you had friends in high places to boot! That in itself is neurotic! It IS rather funny!

~Of course, later I got into assisted living work, you know. Pulse regular, and you’re in! I do suppose that middle-aged people care that much more about their children than about their parents! Neurotic! (laughs)

…. This is faint praise indeed, but this is better than “Harry Potter”, which is where I heard Pam’s name, you know. (The journalist blurb on the back of the first edition of the first book, courtesy of the library. Of course, I’ve bought that book before, so it’s ok….) It actually Is about magic, and not just the magic of celebrity, right. (As much as I love celebrity.)

…. Anyway, I haven’t read the pre-1981 Bad Tuesday text(s), and I don’t doubt that they were racist; people Were more racist, back then. But it kinda validates what I was saying. It WAS about ‘the heathen’—and with every bone in her frail Anglo body, and confused English mind, she was on the side of the magic, you know. It wasn’t actually about being a good little colonist, you know—about going to church, and talking with the rector about chemistry after, right. THAT would be English, after all.

…. It’s amazing how it can be simultaneously about the Charles Dickens Governess, you know, and Something/Someone Else.

There’s a lion, but it isn’t Aslan. And it’s not a good-lion, or a bad-lion, you know.

There should seriously be a Mary Poppins Coven, or a Mary Poppins Institute for the Care of Magical Children, you know. Of course, if there were, Fox News would order a mafia hit, you know. “Tell Mary I always liked her. It was only business.”

(Outside a Fox News Girls are protesting and holding signs: Down with Mary Poppins! Cancel Mary Poppins! Cancel the witches! Has the Village got your head—or the Debbil? Or the Gubbermint?)

It’s amazing though: Pam is a cross between Starhawk and C.S. Lewis!

(Harry’s Jo is more like de-romanticized Jane Austen plus the Golden Book of Nursery Rhymes or something, plus Dickens or Tolstoy, you know—for length. There’s not a lot of either fairy or Franciscan about it, as indeed not everyone is interested in that sort of thing.)

Incidentally the movie probably WAS more a midcentury female Harry Potter, and that’s probably what people remember. A movie from the 60s, or a book from thirty years earlier? No contest.

…. Incidentally, in Jo’s books, (not Jo March, lol—I can’t think of a clever way to say that), Herr Evil says more or less, “There is only power: those who have it, and those who don’t”, which is a faintly/folkily Christian thing to put in the mouth of someone ugly, undesirable, and violent. But isn’t it so? There’s no condemnation—how could there be condemnation? There is only, here the Lion, and here the Bear; and Mr Lion is either rather good at being the king, or rather, he isn’t, and Mr Bear is rather better at being himself. But where’s the condemnation? Am EYE named Mr Lion? Is it MY choice to make, whether I be a wise lion or a (Book-of-Proverbs) fool?

ALTHOUGH, clearly there is also the image of the lion living peacefully with the lamb being Paradise. (Which happens when the Moon-holy-time aligns perfectly with the Sun-holy-time, incidentally.) The wise girl does not reject the thing done well in order to be consistent. A foolish consistency, Ralph Waldo reminds us, is the hobgoblin of little minds—little minds who do not like the Tarot Fool very much.

…. Although the Narnian wasn’t always a bad writer: a lot of his career was built on the notion that a book like this, although he probably never read it and probably wouldn’t have given it full marks even if he had—was much more alive than something like Daphne’s Rebecca, you know. A prudish Freudian! Mouthing fancy things you don’t believe—to the point of being a ~~prudish Freudian~~!! And it was Very Popular in its day, ha! The ~illness! The Illness of Lying, you know…. If we’ve got to go cleaning up racist old classics, let’s at least not throw good money after bad for the sake of the stupid ones, you know! Holy galoshes! The idiots who run schools, you know! —What’s the point of reading a book? —To get to the end? No no—to isolate yourself! To prove that Enneagram Fives are gods on earth, gods among apes! —Very good. Banana?

…. Hermes’ mom & Christmas….

…. Could’ve paid the bill, though. Probably expects my god to pay it. 😸

~ I mean, that’s the worst of it, you know. Two instances of ‘I’m the Woman who doesn’t like money/doesn’t believe in paying for things’, you know. Revolution of the village idiots….

…. It’s funny how Poppers shows up on the East Wind—the ‘bad’ wind in Dickens & the Bible—and leaves with the West Wind. Almost like Mary, for all her priggishness, was secretly a ‘bad’ girl, you know….
  goosecap | Nov 5, 2023 |
Spit spot! She's not quite Julie Andrews, is she? ( )
  emmby | Oct 4, 2023 |
I read it when I was a child. I hated the style, the plot and everything else. The movie is so much better! ( )
  Twisk | Oct 2, 2023 |
Having grown up with the Disney film version of this children's classic, I was surprised by how different the book was from the movie. Mary Poppins is less nice but more magical & the events of the movie are covered in the first few chapters so there were lots of new adventures for me to enjoy. Plus, there are two more children in the Banks family - twins under 1 year old. ( )
  leslie.98 | Jun 27, 2023 |
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» Lägg till fler författare (120 möjliga)

Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Travers, P. L.primär författarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Bompiani, LetiziaÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Delignon, EmanuelaIllustratörmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Kessel, ElisabethÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Lemke, HorstIllustratörmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Makatsch, HeikeBerättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Poussard, ElnaÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Sardà, JúliaIllustratörmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Shepard, MaryIllustratörmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Tholema, A.C.Översättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Thompson, SophieBerättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
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But Jane and Michael were not taken in by that snap. For they could see in Mary Poppins's eyes something that, if she were anybody else but Mary Poppins, might have been described as tears.... (p. 194)
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An extraordinary English nanny blows in on the East Wind with her parrot-headed umbrella and magic carpetbag and introduces her charges, Jane and Michael, to some delightful people and experiences.

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