AUTOGRAPH MANUSCRIPT SIGNED (AMS)
[circa October 1933]. Manuscript. Holograph MANUSCRIPT, 23 pages written on rectos of separate 8-1/2" x 11" sheets, SIGNED in the byline. Complete draft of his essay titled "Detachment," with numerous additions and deletions throughout, and with a holograph note at upper right of the first page: "Published in 'The Aryan Path' (for the Bombay Editors)." Powys begins his important essay on spirituality: "Real Detachment begins when we think of our soul as a wayfarer from a far-off country, lodged for a while, 'hospes comesque corporis,' guest and companion of the body," among the tribes of men and upon this satellite of the voyaging sun." He concludes: "It is in relation to individual human beings that Detachment is most necessary of all. The wise man spends his life running away. But luckily he can run away without moving a step. We are all -- men and women alike -- teased by the blue-bottle flies who want to lay their eggs. These are the people who have never learnt and never could learn the art of detachment. They are blue-bottle flies -- as my sister Phillipa says -- and they want to lay their eggs; and they can only lay their eggs in carrion. Not one of us but has carrion in him, carrion in her; and the buzzing blue-bottles, among our fellows, smell this afar off, and fly towards it, and would fain settle upon it and lay their eggs. Here indeed, here most of all is it necessary to exercise the very magic of Detachment, that magic that makes it possible for you to be in one place -- like the man seated on the naked stone by the flowing water -- and yet to be in the heart of the flaming sun and at the circumference of the divine ether. For if you fail to exercise the magic of detachment upon the blue-bottle flies who infest your road they will really lay their eggs -- the eggs of the maggots of civilisation -- in your soul. And then you will believe in the justifiability of vivisection; in the sacrosanct importance of private property; in the virtue of patriotic war; in slaughter-houses, in brothels, in slavery, and in the great, noble, scientific, gregarious, loving, human, undetached art of -- Advertisement. Rousseau was right. It is only by detaching yourself from human civilisation that you can live a life worthy of a living soul." The blue-bottle fly is Powys's symbol for those who have not succeeded in becoming detached, those who cannot find fulfillment in detachment, in solitude. He not only used it in this essay but in at least one of his novels, WOLF SOLENT. Paperclip staining at upper edge of first and terminal pages, occasional small tear or chip. Near Fine. Item #020097
"The Magic of Detachment" appeared in the October 1933 issue of THE ARYAN PATH.