Quote 3

“If someone loves you for what you can do then it’s flattering, but why do they love you? If someone loves you for who you are then they have to know you, which means you have to know them.”

Coss speaks these words in Chapter Seven during in a conversation with Watanabe. Fyodorov has just finished declaring his love to Coss, whom he hardly knows. Nearly every man in the novel loves Coss for her singing. Their adoration flatters Coss, but it does not satisfy her. As she points out here, they love her for her talent, not for herself. Coss is caught in the classic artist’s dilemma. She wants the world to love her for her art, but she also wants to be loved for herself alone. The kind of love she craves is mutual love, in which two people truly know each other. She distinguishes this kind of mutual love from the one-sided adoration an audience feels for a star.