Week of 5 th
Philip is a failed artist; he is confined to his own garrison, in part b/c of poverty, and enters the church.
He goes to endless Horizons, ironic as it confines rather than offers new opportunities, and cannot/does
not take initiative. He is the embodiment of the paralyzed artist, reflected also in Paul, who treats
English as a dead language, always thinking about etymology instead of context and meaning.
Philip progresses, painting prairies instead of Main streets, a source of inspiration taken away from
him because of their move to the city. 2nd hand bookstore they open in the end – cannot produce own
work, Canadian lit also second hand British lit.
Philip’s future is bleak, because Horizon is not a nurturing ground for artists.
B) Art as a Mode of Communication
Philip’s sketches act his mode of communication; they reveal his emotions and expose dimensions of
(P201-2) “I spread out a dozen of them on the table, then called him.” Mrs. B displays his paintings
and drawings. Points to himself as his own artwork’s audience, and an unappreciative one too. His art
tells us smth about him. His more recurrent artwork is the sketch of main streets, and false fronts
Sketching on back of sermon suggests the fundamental duality of his life. For Mrs. B, the false fronts
represent Philip’s dual roles and presumed hypocrisy, It’s not just the content, but also the
aesthetics/stylistics that concern her. (P23) “Something has happened to his drawing this last year…
There used to be feeling and humanity in it…but now everything is distorted, intensified, alive with
thin, cold, bitter life.” Distortion, more abstract and experimental, leaning towards the Modernist
(P23) One of his paintings, Main street is consumed by darkness, aligned w/ the darkness. The false
fronts gradually retreat into the darkness. “Bent low”, “Bentley”.
Feels no genuine connection with anyone around him, ultimately isolated, retreating from the
darkness (figure bent low), or as the street lamp, consumed by darkness.
(P12) “…while we talked began to draw our pictures…except that he screwed Paul’s face up a little.”
Shows irritation by screwing up Paul’s face, shows his emotions, even petty jealousy. However, this is
rare, and for the most part, he shows deeper and more tortured emotions.
(P23) “Yesterday he sketched a congregation as he sees it from the pulpit. Seven faces in the first row
– ugly, wretched faces, big-mouthed, mean-eyed – alike, yet each with a sharp aggressive individuality
– the caricature of a pew…more in the second row…in the third…” Just as previous sketches show
hypocrisy, this sketch also shows hypocrites in Horizon as being alike, shallow, superficial, stingy, just
like the false fronts.
(P105) Partridge Hill nobly represented (“A trim, white, neat-gabled little schoolhouse…”), as noble
and defiant in the face of true suffering – drought, impoverishment, and death. Unlike town
congregation, who focuses on appearances, Partridge Hill has true faith – they have to, in the face of