Prochownik's Dream by Alex Miller
What is true for one relationship, for one painting, is not true for another... each possesses its own strange inevitability that resists us and we can never finally know what it is we are doing until the work is finished... It is as if the picture paints itself through us, the story tells itself through us, has a larger existence of which we know nothing...
Toni Powlett is an artist in the grip of a crisis. Since the death of his father, Moniek Prochownik, four years earlier, Toni has been at a creative standstill - until Marina Golding, the wife of his former teacher and mentor, Robert Schwartz, contacts him, and everything changes. Toni finds in Marina the perfect companion for his life in art and his creative energies are re-awakened.
But Toni's newfound inspiration and artistic energy come at the direct expense of his relationship with his wife and daughter. The more dependent for his art he becomes on Marina, the more potentially destructive become the tensions between himself and his wife, Teresa. Toni's dilemma is how to reconcile the transgressive nature of his imaginative life with the daily life of his family, who he loves. Robert Schwartz's dying father, Theo, warns him not to confuse art with life. But by what means is he to achieve such clear-sightedness?
Immensely satisfying, Prochownik's Dream is a work of great subtlety, strength and intellect. Its examination of the artist at work is complex and completely absorbing. But at its heart, very simply, it is a book about love.