“White roses and red roses: those were beautiful colours to think of. And the cards for first place and second place and third place were beautiful colours too: pink and cream and lavender. Lavender and cream and pink roses were beautiful to think of . Perhaps a wild rose might be like those colours and he remembered the song about the wild rose blossoms on the little green place. But you could not have a green rose. But perhaps somewhere in the world you could.” (9).
“Fleming had a box of crayons and one night during free study he had coloured the earth green and the clouds maroon. That was like the two brushes in Dante’s press, the brush with the green velvet back for Parnell and the brush with the maroon velvet for Michael Davitt. But he had not told Fleming to colour them those colours. Fleming had done it himself.” (12).
The thing that I saw that was interesting about both of these passages was that they both involve color and what is considered “normal.” Green roses aren’t normal and so you cannot have one. In the second passage, Fleming colors maroon clouds. He is careful to mention that he hadn’t insisted that Fleming color such a thing. It kind of brings out the idea of how as kids we’re able to stretch our imagination to where coloring maroon clouds may be normal (or a green rose). At a certain point, our imagination shrinks and so coloring those things breaks the norms of what we’re used to considering as correct.
Didn’t she enjoy at periods a protection that she paid for by helping among other services, to show the lace and explain it, deal with the tiresome people, answer questions about the dates of the buildings, the style of the furniture, the authorship of the pictures,the favorite haunts of the ghost? It wasn’t that she looked as if you could have given her shillings– it was impossible to look less so. Yet when she finally drifted toward him, distinctly handsome, though ever so much older– older than when he had seen her before– it might have been as ab effect of her guessing that he had,within the couple of hours, devoted more imagination to her that to all the other put together, and had thereby penetrated to a kind of truth that the others were to stupid for.
“To name an object is to do away with the three-quarters of the enjoyment of the poem which is derived from the satisfaction of guessing little by little : to suggest it, to evoke it – that is what charms the imagination”.
Edmund Wilson quoting Mallarmé, in Axel’s Castle, A study of the imaginative literature of 1870-1930, Farrar, Straus and Giroux Editions, p18
“It is here in very truth that he competes with life;it is here that he competes with his brother the painter in his attempt to render the look of things, the look that conveys their meaning, to catch the colour, the relief, the expression, the surface, the substance of the human spectacle.” James, Henry. Major Stories & Essays. New York: Library of America, 1999. Pg.581. – James’ argument of fiction as art reminds me of research paper I wrote last semester arguing that Stephen Crane is an impressionist writer using techniques of the impressionist painters. Agree with James that fiction writing is “one of the fine arts” (575).
“Try to be one of the people on whom nothing is lost!” Pg. 581 – the definition of an artist, and the way to experience life.
“A novel is a living thing, all one and continuous, like any other organism, and in proportion as it lives will it be found, I think that each of the parts there is something of each other of the other parts” pg. 582 – great analogy – a novel is about life and takes on its own life, needs to be cohesive, a body of parts.
“He forgets that when Art surrenders her imaginative medium she surrenders everything.” Wilde, Oscar. “The Decay of Lying.” In Intentions. New York: Brentano’s, 1905. Pg. 24. – art is not simply imagination, it’s interpretation.