Always, When Alone, I Think of Dying



I have just read A Giacometti Portrait by James Lord, a book about the construction of a painting and the unfolding narrative of the process. I bought it from Booksale without any idea who Giacometti is, but his name reminded me of Gianlorenzo Bernini, among other Italian-sounding names. The book was set in the 1980's, in Paris. I was expecting the book to drop some high-sounding theories about painting, as if it was a learning process, or a crash course on, I don't know, impressionism (?). But it did not. It focused more on what Giacometti frets about--this "futility of capturing what he sees", a feeling shared by writers and sculptors and poets (though a jolly lot of poets are really good on painting a picture, like Ashbery) in crafting their works.

The painting is one of the best portraits I've ever seen. I like its being a sketch. I wish I could sketch that way.