In this vital and heartbreaking collection of stories, Valerie Martin, the bestselling author of Mary Reilly and the internationally acclaimed Property , turns an unflinching eye upon artists—driven and blocked, desired and detested, infamous and sublime, as they struggle beneath the tyranny of Art to reconcile their audience with their muse.
A painter who owes his small success to a man he despises, discovers that his passivity has cost him the love that might have set him free. A writer of modest talents encounters the old love who once betrayed him; now she repels him, yet the unfinished novel she leaves in his hands may surpass anything he could ever produce himself. An American poet in Rome finds herself forced to choose between her lover and a world so alien it takes her voice away. A print maker, who has reached a certain age, enters so deeply into the magical world of her imagination that she can never find her way back. In captivating, luminous prose, Martin explores the trials and rewards of human relationships and creative endeavor with all the ease and insight of a writer at the top of her form.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of eBook: The Unfinished Novel and Other Stories|
|Release Date: 12-18-2007|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Knopf Publishing Group|
This eBook download is available in the following formats:
|Parent title||The Unfinished...|
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The Unfinished Novel and Other Stories
His Blue Period
For anyone who has met Meyer Anspach since his success, his occasional lyrical outbursts on the subject of his blue period may be merely tedious, but for those of us who actually remember the ceaseless whine of paranoia that constituted his utterances at that time, Anspach's rhapsodies on the character-building properties of poverty are infuriating. Most of what he says about those days is sheer fabrication, but two things are true: he was poor-we all were-and he was painting all the time. He never mentions, perhaps he doesn't know, a detail I find most salient, which is that his painting actually was better then than it is now. Like so many famous artists, these days Anspach does an excellent imitation of Anspach. He's in control, nothing slips by him, he has spent the last twenty years attending to Anspach's painting, and he has no desire ever to attend to anything else. But when he was young, when he was with Maria, no one, including Anspach, had any idea what an Anspach was. He was brash, intense, never satisfied, feeling his way into a wilderness. He had no character to speak of, or rather he had already the character he has now, which is entirely self-absorbed and egotistical. He cared for no one, certainly not for Maria, though he liked to proclaim that he could not live without her, that she was his inspiration, his muse, that she was absolutely essential to his life as an artist. Pursuing every other woman who caught his attention was also essential, and making no effort to conceal those often sleazy and heartless affairs was, well, part of his character.
If struggle, poverty, and rejection actua