Thursday, October 13, 2022

The. Death of the Heart

“No drawing from life just fails; it establishes something more; it admits the unadmitted. All Mrs. Heccomb had brought to her loving task besides pastels, had been feeling. She was, to put it politely, a negative artist.” The passage from Elizabeth Bowen’s The Death of the Heart might be description of the novelist’s task which is to change one’s perception of the world. “Any face, house, landscape seen in a picture, however bad, remains subtly but strongly modified in so-called real life and the worse the picture the stronger this is.” Certainly Bowen, an Irish-English artist, with a Jamesian flare for capturing drawing room society, was not casting aspersions on her own talent so much as accounting for both the difficulty of the project and its effect on the reader’s consequent perceptions. One can never be sure of an artist’s relationship to the characters they create. However, The Death of the Heart is at its core a Bildungsroman, about a highly sensitive young woman whose innocence and hurt, provide the canvas on which a complex sensibility (possibly that of the author herself?) is painted.

read "A Taxonomy of The Goldfinch" by Francis Levy, HuffPost

and listen to "Time is on My Side" by The Rolling Stones

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