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
Alex Miller has twice won the prestigious Miles Franklin Literary Award,
Australia's premier literary prize; the first occasion in 1993 for The Ancestor Game, and again in 2003 for Journey to the Stone Country. He is also an overall winner of the Commonwealth Writers' Prize, for The Ancestor Game, in 1993. British by birth, he now lives in Victoria.
Having stripped oth art and love of sentimentality, and having removed from them every self-deluding panacea, [Miller] holds to their possibility with a faith that is rare in this cynical world.
A beautiful novel of ideas which never eclipse the characters.
Prochownik's Dream is an absorbing and satisfying novel, distinguished by Miller's enviable ability to evoke the appearance and texture of paintings in the often unyielding medium of words.
Sydney Morning Herald