'Romantic paradigms insist on the necessary loneliness and suffering of the
artist. Writing about Beethoven and identifying himself with that composer,
D.H. Lawrence wrote of 'the crucifixion into isolate individuality.' Rilke,
perhaps a more pertinent example with respect to Alex Miller's work, advises
a young poet to 'love . . .solitude and sing out with the pain it causes . . .'
Furthermore, Rilke urges his protege to perceive the world from the 'vastness'
of his own solitude, 'which is itself work and status and vocation.'
Though there are moments in Prochownik's Dream when one might detect the
influence of Rilke, the novel's distinction, I believe, resides in its portrait of the
artist as embedded and enmeshed in family. Not only is Toni Powlett and his
work seen in relation to his father, wife and daughter, but also in relation to his
friends, who constitute another 'family'. My paper seeks to tease out the
creative connections and tensions between families and art as they are
represented in the novel and to demonstrate the way Prochownik's Dream
subverts the Romantic idea of creative genius and insists on the often
unacknowledged collaborations necessary to the making of art.' (Source: http://sydney.edu.au/arts/australian_literature/images/content/conferences/miller_abstracts2.pdf )