By Oddvar Holmesland
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Additional info for A Critical Introduction to Henry Green’s Novels: The Living Vision
The minor role played by them in the active formation ofthe plot, and their less prominent existences as compared with the Craigan household, might imply that the essential balance is too unequal to connote a major conflict. However, almost like the spirit of Mrs Ramsay in To the Lighthouse, the example of the Eameses sutTuses the novel and brings characters and events into relief. Various episodes in Living develop depth through comparison and association with the Eameses' values. They are by no means an ordinary and average pair, although they, like most others, are connected with the factory, comply with its routines, and lead an outwardly unadventurous life.
59 Applied to the relationship between the visual arts and literature, one may ask why artistic creation need necessarily be based on conflict. Eisenstein explains that the 'fundamental principle' of art is always conflict: I. according to its social mission, 2. according to its nature, 3. ' Eisenstein's intention is to confront the spectator with life in all its complexity, to create a 'dynamic clash of opposing passions' in his mind, and thereby stir hirn to form 'equitable Introduction 29 views' (what Eisenstein calls 'intellectual concepts').
Green recreates vivid images in his mind: 'we might as weIl turn back to when we stumbled horne through the dark, our faces still burning with the day's sun'. These images, Green says, we should 'take with us like a bar of gold'. 79 The polarity of sunlight and dark is an essential component in Green's montage ofreality's contradictory facets. The image of contradiction enhances the acute vitality of perception. Like Back, Blindness records the protagonist's struggle towards a sensuous reintegration with reality.