August 14, 1910 [Aeroplane Flight and Wreck (Piloted by M. Cody)]

The Wright brothers have started a flying school, and experiments have been conducted to test the aeroplane's utility as a weapon (while military flight training begins in various countries), and there's a fellow in Atlantic City who last month flew higher than a mile—and the fatalities mount. On the screen, Monsieur Cody takes 'er up—and the camera tries to keep pace, as Cody skitters back and forth, in and out of the frame, in his complex, fragile-looking contraption. Finally the machine falls—tumbles, lies twisted.

Like everyone, I follow the trials and advances of the aviator—and am filled with my customary awe at a machine's ability to make physical the lurch and sweep of the imagination. The motion-picture camera and the aeroplane rise together—and allow me for a space to be a boy—oh, all right: Peter Pan, refusing to grow up, running away the day he was born, urging us to "Come away! Come away!"

I will, for the moment, ignore the wreck at the end.


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