(Actually, come to think of it, wasn't that Morven Callar?)
I’m also full of admiration for the writer who’s prepared to explore the darker side of creativity, and the way it comes close to madness, such as William Golding in his novel The Spire. Perhaps all our creative urges are located in the murky depths of our unconscious minds and we, like Jocelin, the Dean of the Cathedral determined to build a 400 foot spire with no foundations, can never be sure if our artistic endeavours are merely a delusion.
But the theme itself which William Golding chose is significant: the collapse of his work is always a threat of which the artist is aware. And here Golding describes a particular threat which must be experienced by every artist. Artists are often accused of being narcissistic, which is a great misconception, but the particular kind of omnipotent narcissism represented by Jocelin must be a temptation that they probably have always to struggle with and to overcome.
The Work of Hanna Segal, p216.