I have said already that but for the hazard of a journey toTahiti I should doubtless never have written this book. It isthither that after many wanderings Charles Strickland came,and it is there that he painted the pictures on which his famemost securely rests. I suppose no artist achieves completelythe realisation of the dream that obsesses him, and Strickland,harassed incessantly by his struggle with technique,managed, perhaps, less than others to express the visionthat he saw with his mind's eye; but in Tahiti thecircumstances were favourable to him; he found in hissurroundings the accidents necessary for his inspiration tobecome effective, and his later pictures give at least asuggestion of what he sought. They offer the imaginationsomething new and strange. It is as though in this farcountry his spirit, that had wandered disembodied, seeking atenement, at last was able to clothe itself in flesh. To usethe hackneyed phrase, here he found himself.
I enquired at my hotel for that in which Charles Stricklandwas living. It was called the Hotel des Belges. But theconcierge, somewhat to my surprise, had never heard of it.I had understood from Mrs. Strickland that it was a large andsumptuous place at the back of the Rue de Rivoli. We lookedit out in the directory. The only hotel of that name was inthe Rue des Moines. The quarter was not fashionable; it wasnot even respectable. I shook my head.
The Moon and Sixpence - Chapters 1-6 Summary & …
Mrs. Strickland shrugged her shoulders impatiently. I thinkI was a little disappointed in her. I expected then people tobe more of a piece than I do now, and I was distressed to findso much vindictiveness in so charming a creature. I did notrealise how motley are the qualities that go to make up ahuman being. Now I am well aware that pettiness and grandeur,malice and charity, hatred and love, can find place side byside in the same human heart.