The text on this page is from David Lavery, "An Owen Barfield Readers Guide." Seven 15 (1998): 97-112.

This Ever Diverse Pair

This Ever Diverse Pair. London: Gollancz, 1950; reissued Edinburgh: Floris Books, 1985.

For if it is the Burdens of this world who keep traditions alive, it is the Burgeons who create them. The Burdens cannot make anything; they can only collect and preserve. (This Ever Diverse Pair 114-115)

An autobiographical novel written to help avert a nervous breakdown (as Barfield explains in Owen Barfield: Man and Meaning), This Ever Diverse Pair depicts the uneasy partnership, the polar tension, between two London solicitors: the prosaic, practical-minded Burden and his invisible, "sleeping partner" Burgeon, at heart a poet and dreamer. As such, it is a humorous, whimsical commentary on, and a surprisingly candid revelation of, the difficulties inherent in Barfield's delicate balance of law and the imagination.

See also Patricia Ralston's "Owen Barfield's This Ever Diverse Pair."

Table of Contents

Introduction by Walter de la Mare
I Tabula In Naufragio
II  Graduated Courtesies
III  Divorce
IV Abstract of the Title
V Rhematophobia
VI The Things that are Caesar's!
VII Cestuis que Trustent
VIII  Vision
IX Crisis
X Home Guard (The
First Dream)
XI Astraea Redux (The Second Dream)