Sleep Fictions: A Digital Companion

III.6 Hudson

Rowland views Roderick’s incessant labor and late-night social calls as “the happiest modus vivendi [way of life] betwixt work and play." Rowland’s perception of balance for Roderick is premised upon “work and play.” Rest does not enter the equation. Rowland believes that, to truly be a genius, Roderick must carry within him an inexhaustible energy that drives his work.

Rowland’s grooming of Roderick emphasizes the former’s belief in the balance of all forces. He hopes that Roderick’s Southern impetuousness might be soothed by the influence of seasoned artists and that his restlessness will be calmed by the steady flow of artistic work. Rowland places confidence in a mysterious “divine facility” that will maintain Roderick’s restless lifestyle.

In his creation of the Adam and Eve sculptures, Roderick does just that. He spends “a month shut up in his studio; he had an idea and he was not to rest till he had embodied it." He earnestly follows Rowland’s timeline of production, providing his patron with a sculpture after his first three months abroad. He proves his “divine facility” again when, three months later, he completes his companion piece.

After his two successes, Rowland observes of Roderick: “Among the young men of genius who for so many ages have gone up to Rome to test their powers, none ever made a fairer beginning than Roderick. He rode his two horses at once with extraordinary fortune." According to Rowland, a balance of conflicting elements is key to Roderick’s success. He admires Roderick’s unrelenting restlessness: “He enjoyed immeasurably . . . the downright act of production. He kept models in the studio till they dropped with fatigue” and values Roderick’s body for its extraordinarily wakefulness: “[Roderick] wrestled all day with a mountain of clay in his studio, and chattered half the night away in Roman drawing-rooms."

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