Question relating to Arthur Machen's THE GREAT GOD PAN

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'°|°'
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Question relating to Arthur Machen's THE GREAT GOD PAN

Beitrag von '°|°' » 2. Sep 2012 11:31

At the moment, I am reading The Great God Pan by Arthur Machen, and for me, it is a little difficult to follow the plot because there are many allusions there in the text and many identities which finally are revealed to be the same, so that I have great difficulties in understanding the testimony of one Dr Matheson in chapter VIII, which I will quote here from Wikisource:
...Such, Raymond, is the story of what I know and what I have seen. The burden of it was too heavy for me to bear alone, and yet I could tell it to none but you. Villiers, who was with me at the last, knows nothing of that awful secret of the wood, of how what we both saw die, lay upon the smooth, sweet turf amidst the summer flowers, half in sun and half in shadow, and holding the girl Rachel's hand, called and summoned those companions, and shaped in solid form, upon the earth we tread upon, the horror which we can but hint at, which we can only name under a figure. I would not tell Villiers of this, nor of that resemblance, which struck me as with a blow upon my heart, when I saw the portrait, which filled the cup of terror at the end. What this can mean I dare not guess. I know that what I saw perish was not Mary, and yet in the last agony Mary's eyes looked into mine. Whether there can be any one who can show the last link in this chain of awful mystery, I do not know, but if there be any one who can do this, you, Raymond, are the man. And if you know the secret, it rests with you to tell it or not, as you please.
My question(s):
1. What did they see die?
2. Why does he state the following: "In the last agony Mary's eyes looked into mine."?

I am looking forward to Your answers.
'°|°'




Duckduck
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Re: Question relating to Arthur Machen's THE GREAT GOD PAN

Beitrag von Duckduck » 2. Sep 2012 14:23

'°|°' hat geschrieben:At the moment, I am reading The Great God Pan by Arthur Machen, and for me, it is a little difficult to follow the plot because there are many allusions there in the text and many identities which finally are revealed to be the same, so that I have great difficulties in understanding the testimony of one Dr Matheson in chapter VIII, which I will quote here from Wikisource:
Hi "funnyface" and welcome to the forum! :)
I just read the novella in order to be able to assist in solving the problem. Thanks for that, I enjoyed the read!

Here's my explanation:
It certainly is a little confusing but of course that was the author's intention, I'm sure. The paragraph below was not written by Dr Matheson but by Mr Clarke. The latter, said Dr Matheson and Mr Villiers were all present at the death of Helen Vaughn aka Mrs Beaumont aka who knows. Helen Vaughn is no other than Mary's daughter, conceived by the God Pan in the moments after the experiment conducted by Raymond at the beginning of the text - witnessed by Clarke, as you know. Helen killed herself after being confronted by Villiers who had found out her true identity and the horrible changes her body went through in her death throes showed that she was half human and half faun/sartyr, whatever, anyway: half father Pan. Now let's have a look at the text itself:
...Such, Raymond, is the story of what I know and what I have seen. The burden of it was too heavy for me to bear alone, and yet I could tell it to none but you. Villiers, who was with me at the last (this refers to Helen's death as witnessed by Clarke, Villiers and Dr Matheson), knows nothing of that awful secret of the wood (this refers to the corruption of Rachel, the young playfellow of Helen's in Wales), And now in German: Hier werden zwei Dinge verbunden: einerseits das Sterben von Helen (what we both saw die), andererseits der Hinweis auf ein früheres Ereignis; Helen mit Rachel als junge Mädchen auf dem Waldboden liegend und man kann sich vorstellen - obwohl es nicht gesagt wird - "Undinge" treibend ), lay upon the smooth, sweet turf amidst the summer flowers, half in sun and half in shadow, and holding the girl Rachel's hand, called and summoned those companions, and shaped in solid form, upon the earth we tread upon, the horror which we can but hint at, which we can only name under a figure. I would not tell Villiers of this, nor of that resemblance, which struck me as with a blow upon my heart, when I saw the portrait, which filled the cup of terror at the end. What this can mean I dare not guess. I know that what I saw perish was not Mary, and yet in the last agony Mary's eyes looked into mine. Whether there can be any one who can show the last link in this chain of awful mystery, I do not know, but if there be any one who can do this, you, Raymond, are the man. And if you know the secret, it rests with you to tell it or not, as you please.
My question(s):
1. What did they see die? Helen, Mary's daughter, strongly resembling her mother
2. Why does he state the following: "In the last agony Mary's eyes looked into mine."?This half-demon is not Mary, but she is part-Mary: viz. her daughter. And she undergoes some really horrific changes dying but in the moment of her death he sees the human in her: Mary's eyes.

I am looking forward to your answers.
'°|°'
Have a nice weekend!
Cheers
Duckduck
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'°|°'
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Registriert: 2. Sep 2012 11:16
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Re: Question relating to Arthur Machen's THE GREAT GOD PAN

Beitrag von '°|°' » 2. Sep 2012 15:17

Thank You very much!!

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