We know little more of the details of their artistic collaboration than we do of their private life. To an old friend who had popped out of the past to write her inwhen she had been locked up 22 years, she wrote: His plays are about states of the soul, surrealistic he despised the surrealists plays through which images float or explode with the erratic intensity of dreams. Her instructor stared one day in amazement at the clay figure she was working on. Soon Camille was working in his studio, soon they were working together in rare harmony. For her, life was just what it had appeared when she and Paul had wandered through the moors and forests around Wuthering Heights and stopped to dream superhuman dreams in front of the giant grotesque rock formations they discovered there.
But the world is the world, and other things did count.
On at least two occasions they recommended that she should be released. But tragedy, for Aeschylus and Shakespeare as for Camille Claudel, demands more, it demands a dramatic concentration: She was by all accounts incredibly beautiful as well as incredibly talented. He wept over all his friends, and though his last twenty years were a pageant of honors and glory — he was showered with decorations and awards, high-society ladies threw themselves into his arms, poets like Rilke chanted his genius, he was photographed in tails and top hat as he was received by kings and popes and millionaires — he could never forget the happiness he had abandoned. Her drawers and cupboards were full of these little figures, which must have offered a unique re-creation of Parisian life in all its variety at the turn of the century.