Sleep Fictions: A Digital Companion

II.1 Hudson

Before departing for their journey, Rowland suggests to Cecelia that Roderick’s marginalized identity--as a worker for and cohabitant amongst New England’s leisure class--has primed him for artistic labor: “He is made to do things that we are better for having. I can’t do such things myself, but when I see a young man of his genius standing helpless and hopeless for want of capital, I feel—and it’s no affection of humility, I assure you—as if it would give at least a reflected usefulness to my own life to offer him his opportunity."
Cecilia responds by sharing a similar assumption about Roderick’s destined social service: “In the name of the general public I suppose I ought to thank you. But I want first of all to profit myself. You guarantee us at any rate, I hope, the masterpieces?” The two take for granted Roderick’s productive capacity, for Rowland confirms a partnership of sorts with Cecelia, assuring her that she might have “a masterpiece a year . . . for the next quarter of a century." Cecelia accepts Rowland’s offer by assuring him that she is, indeed, entitled to Roderick’s work: “It seems to me that we have the right to ask more." In jesting afterthought, she requests that Rowland might consider the security of Roderick’s well-being, as well as his career.

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