Vivien Noakes 『Edward Lear: The Life of a Wanderer』 (Revised Edition)

「'Perhaps after all, the less one stays in places one likes the better - & so one escapes some pain,' he wrote in his diary. 'Therefore, wander.'」
(Vivien Noakes 『Edward Lear』 より)

Vivien Noakes 
『Edward Lear:
The Life of a Wanderer』 
Revised Edition

Sutton Publishing, Gloucestershire, 2004
viii, 312pp, 16pp of plates, 24x15.2cm, hardcover, dust jacket

Originally published in the United Kingdom in 1968 by William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd


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PART ONE: MR LEAR 1812-1848
2. Ornithologist
3. The Knowsley Menagerie
4. Italy
5. A Queen and a Revolution
6. The Mediterranean
7. Franklin Lushington

8. Pre-Raphaelite
9. The Morbids
10. Corfu
11. The Holy Land
12. Rome
13. Landscape Painter
14. Wanderer
15. A Proposal of Marriage?
16. The Greatest Nonsense
17. Last Travel Book

18. Villa Emily
19. Coast of Coromandel
20. The Cruel Shore
21. Villa Tennyson
22. The End

A Brief Chronological Table of Lear's Travels
Family Trees
Notes to the Text
Notes to Text Illustrations

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「When he was about seven, the emotional strain began to show itself in sudden changes of mood with bouts of acute depression, which he called 'the Morbids'. Significantly the first of these came after a rare happy evening with his father. 'The earliest of all the morbidnesses I can recollect must have been somewhere about 1819 - when my Father took me to a field near Highgate, where was a rural performance of gymnastric clowns &C. - & a band. The music was good, - at least it attracted me. - & the sunset & twilight I remember as if yesterday. And I can recollect crying half the night after all the small gaiety broke up - & also suffering for days at the memory of the past scene.' He was a sad, lonely little boy grasping happiness when it came and savouring every bit of it - and broken-hearted when it had slipped beyond his grasp again.
 But even earlier, when he was only five or six, had come the first attack of epilepsy - 'the Demon', as he called it.」
「The illness affected his whole life profoundly. He was fearful that one day an attack might leave him paralysed, or that the repeated assaults would destroy his mind: though he also hoped, until well into middle age, that the disease might loosen its grip as he grew older. It was a constant threat, for sometimes he had several attacks a day. He had warning before they came on - the aura epileptica - so that he was able to get out of the way, and apparently nobody apart from his family ever realised that he was an epileptic. But this perpetual secrecy forced him into isolation.」

(七歳頃から、情緒的ストレスは急性うつ病の症状を伴う突発的な気分の変化(リア自身はそれを「ビョーキ(the Morbids)」と呼んだ)として現れるようになった。最初に現れたのは父親と珍しく楽しい晩を過した後のことで、「1819年頃、父がハイゲイトの近くの野原に連れて行ってくれて、そこで道化師の曲芸とか楽隊とかが地方興行をしていた。音楽に心を魅かれた。夕日と黄昏を昨日のことのように覚えている。お祭り騒ぎが済んでしまうと、夜中まで泣いていた。数日間は過ぎてしまった情景を思い出して切なさに駆られた」。リアはたまに訪れる幸福に飛びついて味わい尽そうとし、それが通り過ぎてしまうと悲嘆に暮れる寂しく孤独な子どもだった。
しかしそれよりも早く、五歳か六歳で、リアは最初の癲癇の発作(リア自身はそれを「アクマ(the Demon)」と呼んだ)に襲われた。


「Indeed, as a young man he seems hardly to have considered marriage as a real possibility, partly because he knew that there would be too much risk of unhappiness. He would have to break the secret of his epilepsy, and he might pass the disease on to his children and see his own horror beginning again in another child. Nor could he be sure that his wife would go on loving him - his mother had stopped loving him once and he knew that he could not go through that kind of despair and hurt again. But the alternative - a solitary life of loneliness - held no appreal. 'I shall - if pleases God to give me health - most probably be a successful Landscape=painter - & have a number of friends given to but few in this world: - on the other hand, I am but too certain of living alone throughout life - a fate for which my sensitive mind ill enough prepares me.'」


「A Queen and a Revolution」より:

「For, despite their incongruity, there is in Lear's characters an honesty that is lacking in the improving literature of the time. Here are grown-ups doing things that grown-ups should never do. They rush and they fall, they eat and drink vastly, wear huge bonnets and wigs, play on crude instrumetns and dance hornpipes and jigs. They are immense and unmannerly, immoderate and strange, unabashed by their eccentricities and excess. ( . . . ) They do not deceive, but share with the children both the folly of their actions and the reality of the human characteristics they display - carelessness, generosity, stupidity, greed. Above all, they are their own masters, ignoring the blandishments of 'They', that constrained, critical mass whom Walter de la Mare called 'perhaps [Lear's] greatest triumph' with 'their unanimity, their cogency, their scorn'.
 Lear was not, of course, the only children's writer of the time who offered his readers an escape from a world of anxiety into one of safety and imagination - nor were all children subjected to these fears - but he was the most influential. In an age when they were too often loaded with shame, he sought to free them. By facing both the good and the bad without criticism, he gave them an opportunity of coming affectionately to terms with themselves and other people, encouraging a good-natured acceptance of oddities and blindness to obvious faults that Erasmus describes as 'the sort of absurdity which is the binding force in society and brings happiness to life'.」



「As it was, Lear probably only partly realised his homosexuality, though in the deeper layers of his mind there was conflict as he fought to suppress it, a conflict that contributed to his constant state of restlessness and depression. He was not a philandering homosexual, as some writers have believed him to be. His search was not for physical love but for someone who would want him as a person in the way that his parents had not wanted him as a child. Through his sensibility and charm he was sought after as a friend, and he loved to be with children because they liked him and showed it. But what he was searching for, and never found, was real spiritual involvement with another person.
 Beyond even this was the terrible unhappiness of forty years, the constant epileptic attacks that still came as often as twenty times a month, marked in his diary by sad little crosses and that he now had to accept would never go - and the bewildering memories of his childhood. Usually he could tuck these away into an undisturbed corner of his mind where they were gradually covered by comforting layers of dust, but when a new unhappiness found its way into that corner the dust was suddenly shaken off and the monster of memory was there.
 Today we would say that Lear was on the verge of a nervous breakdown. What he knew was that he was so unhappy he could do nothing. For hours he walked up and down his room with tears streaming down his face. If he tried to sleep, he just lay looking up at the ceiling. Nobody called, nothing happened, and day after day it rained.」


「Landscape Painter」より:

「'Perhaps after all, the less one stays in places one likes the better - & so one escapes some pain,' he wrote in his diary. 'Therefore, wander.'」


「'The Elements,' he wrote in his diary, 'trees, clouds, &c - silence . . . seems to have far more part with me or I with them, than mankind.'」


「The End」より:

「Though Lear had been dependent on his friends in many ways, his whole life had been a lonely struggle against difficulties that he could share with nobody.」


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不幸な鳥たち(unfortunate birds)に餌やりをするリア。


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Away with the Fairies


分野: パタフィジック。

趣味: 図書館ごっこ。

好物: 鉱物。スカシカシパン。タコノマクラ。

将来の夢: 石ころ。

尊敬する人物: ジョゼフ・メリック、ジョゼフ・コーネル、尾形亀之助、森田童子。


netakiri nekotaroの最近読んだ本