The Moon and Sixpence

May it be that peaple are born not in the culture they belong to, not in the times they would find themselves most applicable?
The exam card would have the question whether Strickland, the painter, is an odious man or whether he ia a great one. Actually I think he is neither. But if I'm pressed to choose I would go - although grudgingly - for the second option.
Let me justify myself. Ferst of all, what do we call "odious"? Difficult to put your finger on it, isn't it? For the notion is to subjective, to my mind. Therefore I believe that those who could righteously appraise Strickland as an "odious" man would be those whom he had treated badly, even cruelly. Indeed, he acted as if there were nothing humane in him: he easily trod over the rights and sensitivities of those who befriended him, he discarded any responsibility over his family, wife and children, he disregarded everyone completely never troubling himself with thinking what the peaople might feel because of his actions. If I were Blansh, or Derek (a trully holy, kind sole) I would most probably thought of Strickland in that very way, for he behaved as a beast. Or a savage.
However, what do you think it takes to leave everything and go? Go with but a few coins in the unknown away from stability and security? Go in a desperate attempt to save your soul that is almost stifled to death by the dull life you have led? Strickland said: "A drawning man doesn't care whetrher he can swim or not, he's just got to get out to save himself". (I'm not at all sure that the quote is accurate as I note it down from memory). And he feeling that he has got to paint but not even knowing yet how to paint left home for good. Otherwise he would, most probably, have led an ordinary life, having buried his soul under the weight of routine, never discovering his genious and constantly suffering from the pent up inner power, that would be tearing with all its intensity apart from within. Therefore I'm inclined to think that to have the nerve to walk the road that some vague feeling inside you whispers to be really yours - I think that is great. And Strickland had the nerve. In what way did he leave and how did he trevelled the newlly chosen path is another question.
And, thinking about his outraging and eccentic behaviour while in Europe, I can't help wondering: if he were born in some other time or in some other culture would he people surrounding him be more happy? If only he lived in a society he would fit in. Like that on Tahiti Island.
The problem was that Stickland was too independent and too loved freedom. What is more, he was considerably claver and had more about his personality than his friends or wife even knew. They wouldn't understand - they are too preoccupied with themselves. That was where the root of Strickland's disdain lay, espassially towords women. His former wife was trying to be his partner, Blansh - his comanion, but they both "cared nothing for me" as Strickland once said, only wanted him to be theirs. Their love was somewhat selfish, they both wanted to mold him into a person they wanted to see in him. And that was exactly what he was opposing to. He needed freedom as much as a man needs air and he could do easily without a woman by his side, not to mention self-contented European ones.
But wat a different man he became on Tahiti! Simple and outgoing people that accept you the way you are, that do not pry into your soul but ready to lend a hand or to listen. There he - who had always looked down on women - married. His wife was so different from all women he had known before. She spoke two three languages and yet spoke little. She did all work around the house leaving him to his paintig. She masterly raised their child. But, most important, she didn't try to change him, she wanted nothing from him, only to be his. That was the reason why she bagged him to let her stay by his side despite his leprosy. She knew that it ment isolation and hate with fear from her people, but she was faithful to her husband till his last days. And being aware of it, he trusted her to burn the last masterpiece he painted after his death.
The book says: "Neuther the skill of his brush, nor the beauty of his canvas could hide the ugliness of his life, and ugliness finally destroyed him".
I don't think I grasp what the author ment by that. Hardly leprosy, for having lost his eyesight the year before he passed away he hardly cared about his appearance. Can his misdeeds be ment by ugliness? Perhaps, for the author might be hinting that the maimed with sins Srrickland's soul was the very couse of that lethal punity - illness.
Nevertheless, I guess that the most horrible thing for strickland was different. Leprosy and untimely death didn't trouble him that much if only he didn't lose his eyesight. It is hard to imagine the pain of a painter who drew his last picture - the picture of his whole life - never seeing it, never knowing was it a masterpiece as it was ment to be or just a daub. Might that have turned his whole life surch into nothing? Might he have died in dispair, never knowing what he has found, what he has reached in the end of his path? Might that be the reason for making his loyal wife promise to burn his last painting?

@темы: посты :)

2015-06-13 в 10:28 

дикий котанчик
Приедешь домой - расскажешь мне это все на русском. Потому что первые строчки заставили меня задуматься, но читать весь пост я морально не готова. :)


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