chapter  XII
The Master-Builder's Downfall
Pages 8

The deeper inner impact of that acquaintanceship may have been partly responsible for the genesis of The Master Builder. It would be far-fetched, though, to interpret it in the light of a loveaffair between Ibsen who was in his seventh decade and the temperamental Viennese flapper-still in her teens. In spite of one of Emilie's strange entries in her diary to the effect that the aged dramatist wanted to be more to her than a friend or a mere platonic lover, one is inclined to accept Ibsen's own assertion, when

referring to that idyll, that he had made use of Emilie only for his art-as a 'model' for his play.* This does not exclude, of course, the coincidence of certain minor misunderstandings and frictions in his married life, which probably made him take his episode with Emilie Bardach more seriously at times-according to his moods. In his biography of Ibsen, A. E. Zucker relates how Emilie herself told him (during an interview) that the aged dramatist had spoken in those days of a possible divorce, after which he would marry her and undertake wide travels to show her the world.