Cornelius Valentine is a young, passionate and very talented sculptor living on the Left Bank in Paris. Obsessed with his work, he treats others—including his lover Ariel, who is also his model—with a fickle, laissez-faire carelessness that often seems arrogant and disregarding. Even though he understands he loves Ariel, he also knows he loves his work more. After their affair ends abruptly, and badly, he retreats to a village in the South of France to attempt his masterwork.
There, in the medieval village of Seillans, a delusional local artisan named Sylviane Raynard confuses Cornelius with a figure in her past—the celebrated Dada artist Max Ernst. Seeking revenge for unrequited love, she sets out to both befriend and slowly poison the young artist.
As Cornelius becomes increasingly ill from the poison cunningly administered by his nemesis Sylviane, he continues day by day to chip away at a massive stone in an attempt to reveal his 'impossible' masterwork. Monitoring his progress, as well as the progress of her well-planned revenge, Sylviane descends deeper into the realm of her contorted memories.
Each artist—Cornelius and Sylviane—plays out his drama with dedicated passion, alone and little understood, yet each must ultimately share the same existential dilemma: what happens when one fails both in love and art?
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About the Author
Born in Chicago, Illinois, he presently lives on the Island of Corfu in Greece.