Festival Of French Fiction

ONE OF OUR CHIEF needs as creative beings is support. Unfortunately, this can be hard to come by. Ideally, we would be nurtured and encouraged first by our nuclear family and then by ever-widening circles of friends, teachers, well-wishers. As young artists, we need and want to be acknowledged for our attempts and efforts as well as for our achievements and triumphs. Unfortunately, many artists never receive this critical early encouragement. As a result, they may not know they are artists at all. Parents seldom respond, “Try it and see what happens” to artistic urges issuing from their offspring. They offer cautionary advice where support might be more to the point. Timid young artists, adding parental fears to their own, often give up their sunny dreams of artistic careers, settling into the twilight world of could-have-beens and regrets. There, caught between the dream of action and the fear of failure, shadow artists are born.


I am thinking here of Edwin, a miserable millionaire trader whose joy in life comes from his art collection. Strongly nance. His father bought him a seat on the stock exchange for his twenty-first birthday. He has been a trader ever since. Now in his mid-thirties, he is very rich and very poor. Money cannot buy him creative fulfillment.


Surrounding himself with artists and artifacts, he is like the kid with his nose pressed to the candy-store window. He would love to be more creative but believes that is the prerogative of others, nothing he can aspire to for himself. A generous man, he recently gifted an artist with a year’s living expenses so she could pursue her dreams. Raised to believe that the term artist could not apply to him, he cannot make that same gift for himself