PRINT March 1987


A Romance in Ten Parts, Chapter 7: Scapegoat

IT WOULD BE NATURAL TO think that after seeing Alma’s show—a weak mirror of his own work—Rex suffered. In fact, he did. A double suffering. For in one shot he had had his ideas stolen from him and he had lost all faith in the famous woman, his lover, who had committed the theft.

If Rex had lived in the 19th century, and this were a 19th-century tale, we might have said that his soul had been stolen (his two souls, to be exact) and that in its place sadness filled the vacancy, and our hearts would have gone out to him. Yet the reader of today, who is quite rightly sickened by archetypes in the arts (sparked by noxious ideas abroad in the world) that describe powerful women as evil, or as draining men’s power (The Blue Angel, Carmen, The Magic Mountain, Jude the Obscure. . . ), might not rush so quickly for the hankie and might choose another angle from which to view Rex’s situation. We might

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