- Taschenbuch: 416 Seiten
- Verlag: Pocket; Auflage: Export (3. Dezember 2013)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 1476764735
- ISBN-13: 978-1476764733
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 10,7 x 3,3 x 17 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 3 Kundenrezensionen
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 140.354 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
Mary Poppins, She Wrote: The Life of P. L. Travers (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 3. Dezember 2013
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Mary Poppins opened last year in London's West End in Cameron Mackintosh's musical production and has proved a huge success predicted to run for at least five years. Next year it is due to open on Broadway in New york. Meanwhile the Disney film has just been re-released on DVD, and the books remain in print and as classic as ever. But this is the first full biography of the woman who wrote the Mary Poppins books, and a fascinating and extraordinary life it was too. P.L. Travers was Australian, came to London as a journalist early in the twentieth century, became involved with Theosophism, got to know W.B. Yeats and George Russell, took her lifelong quest for guru-figures on to Gurdjieff and Krishnamurti - and lived into her nineties. By the end of her life, in the seventies, she was living in a flat off London's Kings Road and going to chat to the punks outside Malcolm McLaren's clothing shop! --This text refers to the Gebundene Ausgabe edition.
Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende
Valerie Lawson is a feature writer for The Sydney Morning Herald. Her previous books are Connie Sweetheart and The Allens Affair. She lives in Sydney and London.Alle Produktbeschreibungen
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Da über Pamela Travers so gut wie nichts bekannt war und ich mich immer gefragt habe, wer und was diese Autorin sein könnte, war ich erfreut, die Biographie von Valerie Lawson zu finden. Ich hatte mit Interesse und Anteilnahme den Film "Saving Mr. Banks" gesehen (mit einer wundervollen Emma Thompson als Pamela Travers), der auf dieser Biographie basiert..
Das Buch ist informativ und gut zu lesen (wenn man Englisch kann). Es zeigt eine Menge an wissenswerten Einzelheiten über die Kindheit und Jugend, über ihren familiären Hintergrund (insbesondere die überforderte Mutter und den Vater, der ein Alkoholiker war). P.T. lebenslange Sehnsucht und Suche nach einer Vaterfigut wird ebenso thematisiert wie ihre durchaus egoistischen Züge und Neigungen zu spirituellen Führern wie dem griechisch-armenischen Esoteriker Georges I. Gurdjieff oder dem irischen George William Russelll (nannte sich A.E. - eine Abkürzung für eine bestimmte esoterische Ideen).Lesen Sie weiter... ›
Her character becomes interesting again these days when movie "Saving Mr. Banks" was released in theaters, starring Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks, that describes difficulties P. L. Travers had with famous filmmaker Walt Disney during production of the Mary Poppins novel adaptation.
Helen Lyndon Goff, who will eventually become Pamela Travers, or shortly P.L. Travers, originates from Australia where she began her acting and writing career. After moving to UK, she continued her career writing poems professionally until 1934 when she released her first Mary Poppins story that has remained main theme of her books until her death in 1996.
She was the person who ran away from popularity, and because of her experience that she saw herself as the renowned author, she wasn't very popular in her environment.
An unusual detail that's not so much known about her life is that she adopted child when she was in her forties. It was a boy separated from his twin that will meet his brother many years later when they'll be teenagers. Her son was very angry on her foster mother because she never told him about his twin and that was the reason for the big problems that were difficult to smooth between them.
Travers also had lots of problems with her health therefore she was many times seeking help from different spiritual people, traveling all around the world.
The problems with Walt Disney incurred because their vision of Mary character were completely different - Travers saw her as much more complex character than Disney presented her in his popular movie.Lesen Sie weiter... ›
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My favorite part of the book is the no-holds-barred retelling of Travers' negotiations with Walt Disney for the move rights, and subsequent alienation she encountered while becoming a thorn in the side to the production, so much so that she wasn't invited to the Hollywood premiere and almost literally crashed the event. This reaffirms everything I know from listening to the commentary of the film, as well as the Sherman Brothers remembrances of Travers' less than helpful suggestions for the movie.
If you love to hear about the behind-the-scenes goings on on film sets as much as I do, the chapter on the Disney movie will be a favorite.
I think Lawson gives somewhat short shrift to Travers work with Parabola magazine, which is some of her most brilliant writing -- inspiring to thousands of her readers, and collected in the now out of print "What the Bee Knows." (Note to publishers: bring it back!) You may also find out more than you want to known about her endless toing and froing with Disney, and the ways in which the movie deal echoed through the last thirty years of her life.
But Lawson also gives the first comprehensive account of Travers' private life, her involvement AE and Gurdieff, her adoption of one twin, her son Camillus, and her early career as an actress. Her love affairs are touched on.
I'm not sure, in the end, if all the private matters, interesting as they may be, really add to our understanding of Travers' work, though Lawson makes some persuasive connections between the fantasy and the reality. Mary Poppins herself, the Great Exception, survives the biography with her mystery intact, and in spite of Lawson's sympathetic and thorough craftsmanship, so does Travers. For those of us lucky ones who count Travers as a touchstone in our lives, that's just fine. Questions without answers can often be more satisfying than the other kind.
As a fan of the Mary Poppins books, having borrowed them from the library many times as a child, I already knew that the Walt Disney movie starring Julie Andrews (!) was its own fantasy, rather than a cinematic portrayal of the Mary Poppins I knew from P.L.Travers' books. After reading 'Mary Poppins, She Wrote' I believe that the movie 'Saving Mr.Banks' is ANOTHER Disney fantasy, rather than an accurate or realistic biography of P.L.Travers OR the making of the their Mary Poppins movie.
I understand that P.L.Travers obscured, hid facts, and down right lied about her life over the years, so I'm sure that writing her biography was difficult. But Valerie Lawson tells us, up front, that despite Travers' claims that she did not want anyone to write her biography, Travers left a wealth of papers and documentation, and made sure it was available to anyone who wanted to read it. If there IS so much open documentation, one would think she could have presented a more straight forward, if not more informative, biography.
I was really bored by the tedious FILLER about all the gurus P.L.Travers followed in her life. It might have been SLIGHTLY more acceptable if Lawson had included anything that explained WHAT these teachings were about. Despite having to plow through page after page about Gurdijieff, I couldn't grasp any basic concept of his teachings as related by Valerie Lawson in her book...even though Wikipedia manages to fit it into a lot less space and comes up with a more concise explanation. I found it somewhat ironic that Lawson's book includes a lot more of what I'd consider "gossip" about Grudjieff, supposedly gleaned form Travers' letters and papers, while P.L.Travers has only a very minor mention in the Wikipedia article about Grudjieff.
Lawson also wrote much about Travers' preoccupation with Zen, and the idea that the Mary Poppins books (or, perhaps just Mary Poppins, herself) were considered to be Zen. I wish she had explained what this was supposed to mean, for readers who aren't familiar with the concept of Zen. I certainly hope it is more than that Mary Poppins is simply an unexplainable riddle.
After reading Valerie Lawson's biography of P.L.Travers, I ended up feeling that Travers was an insecure writer who tried to imbue her childhood fantasies with great philosophical meaning. It seems that over her lifetime she almost taunted her readers and students, reviewers and interviewers, with "if you don't know, I'M not going to tell you!" responses about her books, her methods, her beliefs and her life. In the end, I was left with the feeling that she was a charlatan...or that SHE felt she was...and that's why she was so secretive and vague.
I think it sad that (it seems) she wrote the Mary Poppins stories, and particularly the sequel books, simply because she needed the money and was unable to write anything else that was commercial successful. I also think it is sad that she (seemed) to feel that writing children's literature was beneath her as a writer, so that she had to give these stories a higher meaning by saying they are an interpretation of myth and/or mystical religion, and insisted they were NOT written for children. I think P.L.Travers lived a sad and disappointed life.
The book tells the story as much as it can be told.
Pamela L. Travers was born Helen Lyndon Goff in Australia in 1899. Her father was an Irishman with a romantic streak and an unfortunate weakness for alcohol, while her mother was part of a prominent and wealthy Australian family. Lyndon adored her father, who died when she was young, and spent much of her life looking for a father substitute, or as Lawson puts it, for a "Mr. Banks." With little formal education, she became an actress, eventually migrated to London, and there worked as a journalist and writer. She was heavily influenced by Yeats and George Russell, who used the pen name AE, and developed a mystical streak that later found fuller expression through her discipleship to Ouspensky and Gurdjieff, as well as other "gurus" advocating various Eastern philosophies. Her private life was a mystery. Lawson is able to suggest that she had some lesbian relationships, but could find no firm evidence. She never married, but adopted a son with whom she had a stormy but ultimately close relationship. And most of all, she wrote, mainly about an intimidating, dour, and rather plain nanny who showed up at the Banks household at odd times to impart lessons in life to the children she had in charge. Mary Poppins eventually made Travers' fortune, and although she was plagued with ill-health and anxieties throughout her long life, she died a wealthy woman in 1996.
Having seen both "Mary Poppins" and "Saving Mr. Banks" I found this biography very enjoyable. It was interesting to read of Travers' tumultuous life and to feel both admiration and sympathy for her. I especially enjoyed the sections covering Travers' relationship with Walt Disney and the work she did as a consultant for "Mary Poppins." I came to admire Travers very much as a woman who overcame the many restrictions placed on her by her sex and her class and who, despite the intimidating and sometimes unpleasant aspects of the original Mary Poppins, created a heroine who deserves a permanent place of honor on the shelves of children's literature.