What’s better than a good dive into knowledge, into the life of an important artist, or character? I did it with Brahms, with Faulkner, with Chekhov, with Lincoln, Churchill…
It’s like a travel, an inner one, into history, into a life.
And of course, your choice reveals something about yourself. Why this person?
This winter, I travel with Edouard Manet, a French painter.
I use a few tricks I know.
First : two biographies.
Eric Darragon is a French Art Historian, and James Henry Rubin an American Art Teacher in the State University of New York. I am currently reading these two books at the same time…
Manet “by Zola” is a text from a writer who knew him, and L’Œuvre a novel about this period and this area (artists in Paris in XIXth Century).
I should add the souvenirs of Antonin Proust, Manet’s best friend, and probably the Manet lectures of Bourdieu, a sociologist, in the Collège de France.
I won’t and I can’t tell you why Manet. I’ll only say one aspect : he is on the fence. He’s the first modern. He’s an impressionist, but he’s not. A rebel, but not at all. And so on. It’s so amazing that I explore it very slowly.
Two good biographies is a good knack. You can do it with a battle (the D-Day?), with an event (a revolution?), with a a theme.
Choose one specialist. Then another one from the other side. Then a book from inside.
Thanks for reading!