This passage is from The Children's Bach by Helen Garner
Spring came. In the mornings, when the first person opened the back door, the whole bulk of air in the house shifted and warmed. Women sighed in expensive dress shops, as if even to contemplate fine stuffs were too much to bear. Dexter took Arthur to the National Gallery. On the way he spoke to the boy in magisterial tones about the lives of artists: Dexter loved tales of exalted suffering, of war and failure and unsympathetic wives and alcoholism. Arthur loitered in front of an etching called Se Repulen: two devils, one wielding a huge pair of scissors with which he was about to cut the other’s toenails. ‘Looks like me and Mum,’ said Arture.
Does "exalted suffering" mean
"sufferings with good results" I mean "when someone try a lot to achieve something, and in the end she or he becomes successful"?
pleasure that we feel after overcoming difficulties in our life?
Does "the whole bulk of air in the house shifted and warmed" mean "the whole dull and breathless air of house replace with fresh and warm air of outside"?