This letter was written by Peter Cummings, close friend of Alexander Wainwright. You will hear much about Peter in The Drawing Lesson and in The Fate of Pryde, in the Trilogy of Remembrance.
These stories are developed from the novels of The Trilogy of Remembrance [The Drawing Lesson, The Fate of Pryde and Night Crossing] and are designed to entice you to read them. Alexander Wainwright, Britain’s finest landscape painter and visionary artist, is the star. Think of them as delightful appetizers. Enjoy and respond!
An artist cannot create without his muse! You cannot imagine just how vital that light, that inspiration is unless you are driven— madly possessed— by an idea, feeling or image to create that which never existed before
That is the spark. Without his muse, the artist is doomed to flounder in the darkness. Like pure candlelight, the muse guides him gently through endless nights of terror and leads him on to the treasures within! Without the muse, there is no hope but what is hope other than the paint on the face of existence? I’d like to claim those words for myself but I confess they were first uttered by Lord Byron himself.
Without that cursed, all-consuming passion to create you have no need of a muse. But without a muse, the creative life of the artist cannot grow. Thank God! I am not so bereft of life forces that I can live without a muse.
So—I am Peter Cummings—this year’s winner of the Booker for my novel The Paradox of Perception. The protagonist is a man named Jack Higgins who is cast adrift in his creative soul by the loss of his muse. The critics reviews were mixed until I won and so now, they’re killing themselves to shower praise on me. What a bunch of sycophants!
The muse relationship? It’s much more than love. Sometimes love doesn’t even enter into it. Sometimes it’s very close to hate.
But every artist must have a muse. For without one there is no light to create the shadow.
If a psychologist analyzed the muse relationship, especially a Jungian, he would say that the wretched artist is simply projecting that which is already within himself onto some poor unsuspecting person. If that were true, I think an artist could easily do without a muse. He could just sit down for a talk with himself. A muse inspires the artist to climb the highest heights and to look down into all the valleys he can imagine.
So? What muses have I had? The most long-standing one is Alexander Wainwright who is always in search of his own muse…or as he calls it…his light.
My relationship with Alex has been at times very intense and stormy. But the bastard deserted me at a critical point in time. I had just finished my first draft of The Paradox of Perception and I literally begged him to read it and give me his opinion. Instead of helping, he just buggered off and left me to freeze in that miserable flat in London in winter without enough coins for the heater. Because of his desertion, the book turned itself inside out—becoming a miserable tale of disappointment, despondency and regret—which I [ meaning Jack Higgins] suffered. It had begun as an enchanting tale of love and inspiration but disintegrated leaving only a delicate pile of grey ashes.
You see, together we had spent countless hours envisioning the beyond—that which lies beyond this phenomenal world. What we perceive with our senses is only a pale reflection of what lies beyond. For Alex, the beyond was expressed exquisitely with the light in his paintings. You could just catch a tantalizing glimpse of what supports our world with one glance at his landscapes.
Some would call it the divine spark and that is what I saw and felt in Alexander. But when he disappeared, the story—in fact, everything in life— took a very ugly turn.
About our relationship—think what you will! Some eyebrows were raised especially in the literary community by people like that sycophant, Brierly, who writes pap for the Times. Such limited minds have no ability to contemplate such a pure, complex and vibrant relationship between the artist and his muse. But human beings are poorly designed. It seems our maker—if in fact we have one—has created us disconnected from our whole selves, other people in this world and the other. A sort of cruel, cosmic joke.
Just take a look at The Drawing Lesson where the whole fight takes place at Harry’s Bar in Venice. Tell me! I’m sure you’ll agree that Alex was being a complete ass! But don’t worry. I’ve long since forgiven him and we are back to being good friends and muses for each other.
Mary E. Martin is the author of two trilogies: The Osgoode Trilogy, inspired by her many years of law practice; and The Trilogy of Remembrance, set in the glitter and shadows of the art world. Both Trilogies will elevate the reader from the rush and hectic world of today and spin them into realms of yet unimagined intrigue. Be inspired by the newly released and final installment of The Trilogy of Remembrance, Night Crossing, recently featured novel on Wattpad.com