Thursday, May 30, 2013

Bon Scott as psychopomp?

Hermes accompanies Myrrhine to Hades, ca 430-420 BCE, National Archaeological Museum of Athens

At first Mrs. Darling did not know, but after thinking back into her childhood she just remembered a Peter Pan who was said to live with the fairies. There were odd stories about him; as that when children died he went part of the way with them, so that they should not be frightened.

Peter Pan, according to J. M Barrie, was a psychopomp. In religion or mythology, a psychompomp guides souls into the afterlife, and in Jungian psychology, a psychopomp travels between the conscious and the unconscious--as perfect a role for Peter Pan as any I've heard.

At the risk of revealing too much of the workings behind the curtain--but not a real plot point, at least--I envision Peter returning to Neverland wearing James's cut-down black velvet funeral coat, bringing with him two new lost boys. One is named Birch, after the tree that in Celtic mythology (an influence on Barrie's writing) symbolized renewal and rebirth, traditionally used as a material for baby cradles.

The other lost boy is named Thrums after the fictional name Barrie gave to his hometown of Killiemurrie in Scotland in some of his early writings. Because how perfect a name is that for a lost boy, to go along with Tootles and Nibs and Slightly?

Kirriemuir is in the burgh of Angus, which is a great name but one with too many cultural associations to use as the name of a lost boy: Black Angus beef. Angus Young of the band AC/DC, which I never cared for due to the vocals of lead singer Bon Scott. Er, Bon Scott, who spent the first six years of his life in Kirriemuir. There's a plaque there commemorating his life, and of course there is also a statue of Peter Pan.

Dizzy yet?


  1. That's a remarkable chain of connections. I wonder if Barrie's nickname "Thrums" had anything to do with the hummadruz phenomenon. Probably not, but it seems an odd choice of nickname.

  2. I haven't run across anything to that effect (so far), but I wouldn't discount it. As you know, everything about this has been exactly that weird.