The Masterpiece is called the most autobiographical novel of Zola’s Rougon-Macquart series. Zola’s personage was reflected from Pierre Sandoz, a kind hearted novelist, a best friend of Claude Lantier—the protagonist of this book—who represented Paul Cézanne or Claude Monet. The quote I am featuring this week is from Sandoz,
“So long as you can say to yourself that you’ve put your whole life into your work, that you expect neither immediate justice nor even serious appreciation, that you’re working without hope of any kind, simply because the urge to work beats in your body like your heart, because you can’t help it, you can let yourself die happy and console yourself with the illusion that you’ll be appreciated one day…”
I can’t agree more with it. Sandoz here wanted to console Claude who was depressed because the world rejected his works, and he felt himself useless. The fact is, we might be different from others, we might not be with the mainstream, but that doesn’t mean that we are not as good as they are. I believe that success comes not from the world’s appreciation, but from the happiness which our work had brought us. As long as we can do what we want which came from our heart, make the best of it, to achieve what is right for us, then I’ll call that ‘success’. To be praised by others would be a bonus, but without that, we can claim that we have served our purpose very well…. and die happily, as Sandoz put it…
Do you agree?