The Consolation of Art

  • C. A. Hankin


The actual solution Kathleen found for her almost insupportable emotional impasse was the one that she had hit on in ‘Misunderstood’. There the child’s sickness was forgotten in the shared artistic self-absorption of both the heroine and her creator. Arnold Trowell’s artistic success seems from the beginning to have captured Kathleen’s imagination. To one who felt undervalued, the rewards of musical accomplishment — attention, admiration, and study in Europe — were alluring. An entry in Kathleen’s journal for August 1907 reveals her wanting to share these glories and exploring the idea of marriage to the successful musician as a way of doing so: ‘If I marry Caesar,’ she told herself, ‘I think I could prove a great many things. Mr Trowell said: “She must share his glories and always keep him in the heights.” ’ But Kathleen had been separated from Arnold for years; almost certainly he was for her by now less a real person than another figure of fantasy, a necessary supporting actor in the continuing drama of her imaginative life. Accordingly, she was by no means broken-hearted when a letter from London finally squashed her dream of marriage to him: ‘I felt first so sorrowful, so hurt, so pained, that I contemplated the most outrageous things; but now only old, and angry and lonely....’


Inanimate Object Feminine Personality Imaginative Life Green Vine Musical Accomplishment 
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Notes to Chapter Five: the Consolation Of Art

  1. 2.
    Marie Bashkirtseff, The Journal of a Young Artist, 1860–1884, trs. Mary J. Serrano (New York, 1899 ).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© C. A. Hankin 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. A. Hankin
    • 1
  1. 1.University of CanterburyNew Zealand

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