chapter  8
18 Pages

Marble and Mud

TheepisodeofKenyonandhisCleopatra(Galathea)containsasuppressedsexualitydenied inthemarblehand;butwhichisparalleledlatein thenovelinhisdiscoveryofthebeautifulclassic Venuswhich,becauseofhis"love"forthemissing Hilda,failstoarousehisfullartistic admiration.Itseems"tofallasunderagain,and becomeonlyaheapofworthlessfragments"(IV,424).Oneaspectparticularlyofhisdiscovery requirescontemplation:"protrudingfromtheloose earth,however,Kenyonbeheldthefingersofa marblehand;itwasstillappendedtoitsarm,and alittlefurthersearchenabledhimtofindthe other"(IV,423).Replaced,thehandsautomatically takeupapositionofnaturalmodesty,agesture whichdeepensthesignificanceofthemarblehand ofHilda'sthatthesculptorsoreverences.What thehandhidesiswhatthehand"standsfor";and itispossibletoreadthe"hands"of "Rappaccinni'sDaughter"and"TheBirthmark"as arinstancesofsynechdoche[4].Marblei

extremeexampleofcoveringovertracesinThe MarbleFaun·asitbearsmutetestimonytoanabsent passionwhichstillcontrolstheformwhenfreedof itsmaterial"clay."