Hi, I've just now read this story and thread. I like it. Jonah is my favourite character in the Old Testament, so I was reading the story comparing Jonas the artist's star with Jonah's mission from God to pronounce the doom of Nineveh. Here is a summary I recently wrote of Jonah:
In the Bible story of Jonah, God tells the prophet to go to Ninevah, a city on the Tigris River in present-day Iraq, to foretell its doom. Jonah is terrified by this divine command and tries to escape by ship. God is determined to fulfill the original plan and sends a storm of such ferocity that Jonah asks his fellow sailors to save themselves by tossing him into the sea, as he knows his prophetic knowledge is the source of the problem. A whale swallows him and coughs him up on shore after three days. Jonah then does God's bidding and goes to Ninevah. Upon his arrival in the evil city, he tells the Ninevans of the impending divine wrath. To Jonah's surprise, the residents accept his advice and repent of their sins. Even more amazingly, God then forgives Ninevah, telling Jonah their repentance has saved the city from the punishment predicted earlier. Jonah was an ordinary person burdened with an extraordinary message. He felt deeply angry towards God, firstly for presenting him with such a dangerous prophecy, and then for making him endure a terrible storm, three days in the belly of a whale and the social confrontation in Ninevah. When God failed to carry out the original destructive promise in which he had invested so much expectation, Jonah wanted to die.
As a creative artist, Jonas is inspired by his star, just as Jonah is inspired by God. Through the story, Jonas becomes attenuated and translucent, with great vision but lacking the solidity of solitary solidarity. If Jonas were true to his star, he would easily have shown the door to the hangers on. I found this quite sad, the bohemian artist revelling in hedonic company, but lacking the fortitude to follow his muse. He gradually ascends, first through absinthe and then physically into the loft, lost in solo ruminations until the fall. I found it rather tragic to read of the artists whose interest in Jonas remained totally egocentric, people of small talent who hoped to validate their lives in the slender word of praise. The whole environment of romantic creativity is also a rather brittle delusion for most, but this story reminded me of Van Gogh in his garret and somehow of Picasso in his social popularity. The whole story is surreal, but the martyrdom of his wife provided a rather sombre background reality check.