Sunday, June 02, 2013

Miss Potter

Beatrix Potter has always been one of the guiding lights of my life. Of course, having been raised by my very confused hippie but-underneath-still-traditional mother and my darling and proper English grandmother, I was given the Potter books as a child, and for the rest of my life I've carried around in my soul the little magical world of Peter and Mrs. Tiggy Winkle as a kind of icon of heaven. Just seeing the pictures is enough to lift me right out of the horrors and falsities of our degraded world.

I know that "eye has not seen nor ear heard" etc. but we have to try to imagine, don't we? My mind's idea of heaven comes to me often as I'm sleeping. It's an amalgam of Narnia in the Golden Age of the Four Sovereigns, Mrs. Tiggy Winkle's kitchen and my grandparents' house in Nanoose Bay, British Columbia. Sometimes I wish I could climb into that little world, which I have always sought right at my feet in tiny, beautiful and magical things.

Although I thought the film a little flawed by the casting (I find Rene Zellweger's accent too exaggerated and her mannerisms too flippant and ironic for the honesty and delicacy of the subject), Miss Potter instantly became one of my all-time favourites.

There's something about her work that makes me suspect that she approached it the same way I try to approach mine. I think she was trying to show people the Real World, the one underneath the veil of the world we usually have to live in. The world of the Old Narnians, living in hiding as the outside world grows increasingly far from it.



Teresa B. said...

I haven't seen that movie - but I loved the beginning of the video for The Tale of Peter Rabbit. It would show a woman (batrix Potter) sitting and painting then packing up when it started to rain and she goes home to a cup of tea and starts talking to Peter the Rabbit. She starts reading the letter and it then switches to the animation story.
It was a short little part - but it really gave me a sense of the Beatrix Potter that I read about. We read her books over and over and loved that one particular video.

Hilary Jane Margaret White said...

I liked the intro to that too, but thought the animation was somewhat Disneyfied.

Teresa B. said...

I think this was my kids first video with English accents.
They loved this video because they loved listening to the accents.
I just like saying "Peeta, Peeta, Peeta!"