Sleep Fictions: A Digital Companion

I.4 Hudson

The boy sculpture represents Roderick’s artistic aspirations, as well as his naiveté and desire for worldliness. The overt sexuality of the “Thirst” statue represents Roderick’s sexual curiosity and vulnerability. In the footnote for the Penguin Classics 1986 edition, Patricia Crick notes that in the allusions used to describe the statuette—“Hylas or Narcissus, Paris or Endymion” (59)—“there may be . . . premonitions of Roderick’s fate” (390). Most notably, in many of the versions of the myth, Endymion is so stunning that his lover asks Zeus to put him in an eternal state of sleep to preserve his youthful beauty. His body becomes his lover’s, with which to visit and gaze upon nightly. Rowland’s erotic intrigue in the “Thirst” statuette parallels Endymion’s tale and highlights both the homoerotic desire that underscores Rowland and Roderick’s relationship and the power Rowland holds over Roderick as his patron.

As you will see throughout the novel, Roderick is portrayed as Rowland's own somnambulist, and at other times, his own personal Sleeping Beauty--all of which is reflective of the Endymion mythos.

This page has tags:

This page is referenced by: