I’m basing this all on the big friendly message written on page 8 of week 6 of my coursework – “Don’t forget to write in your reading journal.” And since that’s right in the middle of a week about this novel I’ve had to read I figure this post should be some kind of summary piece about said novel.
So. Fly Away Peter – the summated observations. Let’s rock.
Fly Away Peter is one of those books we can look at and pull so many meanings out of it that in the end we unravel all the interwoven strands of subtext and find hidden within a rather small and confused canary. And he hasn’t eaten in about three weeks so he’s probably dead. And suddenly someone’s knocking at the door and you’ve no idea what to do with the body and that gateway to Narnia hidden at the back of the pianoforte in your loft is looking more and more inviting…
What I mean with all this is obviously that Fly Away Peter is just a person trying to tell us some truth in print. Avoiding that whole metaphysical jargon so easily fallen into in which you end up discovering that the whole of creation is pointless and thus so is your thinking about it – the book sticks to the truth as far as we can see purely from the evidence we have.
People are insignificant. Objectively life is pointless, but from our own subjective point of view it’s pretty much all we’ve got. You can call it an anti-war novel, you can point out the symbols of ‘duality’ and ‘the dark side of humanity’, the biblical references, the whole shabam – and they’re all present in the text… but it’s all just setting. Tools to make the artwork.
Everything we have is based around this. The fact that a book based around the only significance in life being its individuality, should cause us to spend hours weaving meanings around canaries when we could be out living our individual lives is… mildly ironic. Even reading that much into it is over-indulgence. It’s the story of the end of someone’s life. This is all we have. This is all we should need.
That’s all there is. There isn’t any more.