"Love Among the Artists," by Bernard Shaw

Bernard Shaw is a great favorite of mine; reading "Major Barbara", in high school affected my view of morality and religion deeply and "Pygmalion", is in the top end of my list of favorite romantic works. To me, he has a persuasive and earnest way of writing that is assisted by extensive personal study and experience of the World.

As the title proclaims, "Love among the Artists", is a love story but not one with easy relationships or star crossed events. Instead it is a fascinating treatise on varying degrees of artistic temperament and striving to live within, or in defiance of, the bounds of Victorian England's polite society

As it is primarily a collection of character studies, with realism and wit, you are witness to conversations, secrets, choices, and gradual growth as the story lines are wound together. The discussions about artistic inspiration and the revelations of the character's self-knowledge were what I enjoyed most, and I appreciated this book for it's well drawn characters; their lives unfolding with veracity and rare humor. An intelligent and satisfying read.

 

"Does Mozart's music express me? If not, what does it matter to me wether it is better or worse? I must make my own music, such as it is or such as I am-and I would as soon be myself as Mozart or Beethoven or any of them."

-Owen Jack, "Love Among the Artists".