O'Pinions & O'Bservations O' O'Bscure O'Briania


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Pablo Ruiz Picasso: A Biography

From: JSLSW1@acad1.alaska.edu
Date: Mon, 19 Feb 1996 09:23:28 -0800
Subject: Question

I've just finished slogging through POB's Picasso. The research for that volume is awesome. The book covers the entire 92 years of Picasso's life in some detail and POB is off-handedly familiar with much of Picasso's oeuvre of over 15,000 pieces of work. A Picasso aficionado would not slog. POB was personally acquainted with Picasso and lives in a town in Catalan that Picasso lived in at one time.

The dust cover and POB's knowledge of how the French Resistance accepted Picasso raised a new question.

 
Maturin
O'Brian
Born Irish
Born Irish
Lives in Catalan
Lives in Catalan
Polyglot
Polyglot
Intolerant of Oppression
Intolerant of Oppression
Espionage Agent
??

What was Patrick O'Brian doing between 1939 and 1944?

Best Regards

Larry Weeks
Box 1728
Juneau, Alaska 99802
58 18 11 N 134 24 47 W


From: John Berg (p00446@psilink.com)
Date: Mon, 19 Feb 96 14:24:22 -0400
Subject: Re: Question

Between 1939 and 1945, Mr. O'Brian was ... but first, are all of his then enemies dead?

John


From: Michael Krugman (myriad@panix.com)
Date: Mon, 16 Dec 1996 18:05:36 -0500
Subject: Re: Guernica (POB +4)

Hank Burchard wrote:

I *tried* to forget Picasso. Tried like hell. But the fact is, he's the20th Century's greatest artist. That Jack and Stephen very likely would have preferred Goya makes no never mind.

I admire a lot of Picasso's work, and he was an innovator in his day, but "20th century's greatest artist" is subject to argument. For example, Sidney Janis--one of the great modern-art savants of all time--considered Mondrian to be the best; which I cite only as evidence that Picasso is not the only credible candidate.

As for Gibbon's question whether Mr. O'Brian is a follower of the Picasso cult, let it be remembered that when he was asked what made him write his biography of Picasso, POB answered, "a publisher." That doesn't sound like the ravings of a cultist to me.

Krugshaw-Lautrec


From: sdwilson (scott.wilson@uregina.ca)
Date: Fri, 2 Oct 98 09:39:00 -0700
Subject: POB on Picasso, was Re: A documentary

Susan Wenger wrote:

And, I might add, in his non-fiction. I've been reading Picasso; it's a treasure-trove of insights into the mind of the man who wrote it. I think I learned as much about Patrick O'Brian from that as I learned about Picasso.

Er, yes, Paul, I realised that I misattributed it after I sent it. Guess I'll never make a journalist.

Susan, one thing that impressed me about O'Brian's book on Picasso was the power with which he describes the paintings. I got part way through the biography, decided I just had to see what the fuss was about, got a book of pictures from the library, and had no trouble immediately recognizing the paintings described by O'Brian. It gives me confidence in believing almost all that is described for us in the canon. I also get strong visual images from the canon, in spite of the meagre descriptions.

Scott


Fom: Stolzi@AOL.COM
Date: Sun, 27 Feb 2000 17:38:36 EST
Subject: PICASSO

Got this from the library and am just starting it. How different a subject from SIR JOSEPH BANKS, but still with the fiery touches of POB's unmistakable and unique style.

Why, one wonders, this fascination with things Catalan...

I was intrigued by POB's foreword in which he states a great desire to attack Arianna Stassinopoulos for her book on Picasso, from which he was withheld by the publisher's lawyers. As I remember, Arianna's main point was that the artist was a s*** with women. Will be interested to see if POB defends him on this point. I hope he doesn't think that being a great artist gives a man the right to be a s*** with women.

For intelligence, there is nothing like a keen-witted, handsome woman,

Mary S
35 58' 11" N
86 48' 57" W


From: u1c04803 (u1c04803@MAIL.WVNET.EDU)
Date: Sun, 27 Feb 2000 18:05:11 -0500
Subject: Re: PICASSO

Mary S writes

As I remember, Arianna's main point was that the artist was a s*** with women. Will be interested to see if POB defends him on this point. I hope he doesn't think that being a great artist gives a man the right to be a s*** with women.

If he does, autre temps, autre merde.

Lois


From: Batrinque@AOL.COM
Date: Sun, 27 Feb 2000 19:22:41 EST
Subject: Re: PICASSO

In a message dated 2/27/00 5:40:31 PM Eastern Standard Time, Stolzi@AOL.COM writes:

I was intrigued by POB's foreword in which he states a great desire to attack Arianna Stassinopoulos for her book on Picasso, from which he was withheld by the publisher's lawyers.

I must admit a fondness for how POB got around the legal restriction placed on him for saying anything negative about Arianna Huffington's book in the preface to the new edtion of his own Picasso biography. He explained the lawyers' viewpoint: "It was actionable because I too had written a book on Picasso and therefore I could be looked upon as Huffington's trade-rival, a rival actuated not by honestly-held beliefs but by sordid malice. If I had produced a book on white mice it would have been actionable if I had said that another book on white mice was ill-informed, ill-written and ill-natured ... That, according to the company's expert, is the state of the English law; and since Coke defines law as the perfection of reason, one can but bow with all the respect due to perfection, whatever shape it may assume." And the horse you rode in on, too, I guess he was saying in a very Maturinesque manner.

It has been some time since I read the book, but I don't recollect anything which indicated that he thought "that being a great artist gives a man the right to be a s*** with women." In quickly glancing through I did come across a few quick quotes where POB discussed Picasso's attitude towards women:

"Almost any generalization about Picasso is apt to fall to pieces at once under the weight of exceptions; but although he was capable of completely disinterested candid friendships with women ... his attitude to those with whom he had a closer connection tended to be extremely primative, and now it grew more so. He looked upon few as completely human: those who were unwilling to accept this view were compelled to do so; and some part of his life might be called the tragedy of a successful phallo-crat. His oft-repeated remark to Francoise Gilot about women being either doormats was intended to annoy, yet unhappily it contained a good deal of truth - most unhappily, indeed, for what pleasure can be had in the company of either? Common sense might have told him that; but as Einstein observed, common sense is the sum of the prejudices one has absorbed by the age of eighteen; and those of Picasso had absorbed by then were calculated for a different longitude, almost a different age."

And:

"some degree of happiness is necessary for work; and work was necessary to Picasso: yet, although companionship, and female companionship, was even more valuable to such a lonely man than to most, he did his best to destroy the possibility of it."

And:

"by entirely subjugating Marie-Therese and Dora Maar for example he could no longer enjoy their company as full, free human beings; and that in a human relationship of any continuance there was not victory but only universal defeat." It appears to me that POB saw and acknowledged Picasso's treatment of women and, if he did not exactly deliver a moral judgment, he certainly viewed that behavior as unwise and destructive.

Bruce Trinque


From: Marion Marchand (MMarch5235@AOL.COM)
Date: Sun, 27 Feb 2000 22:42:08 EST
Subject: Re: PICASSO

Good for POB: I ,too have a great desire to attack Ariana Stassinopoulos,who strikes me as a real s--t.

And, frankly, I think that being a truly great artist gives a man the right to be anything he pleases.

Marion


From: Jay Reay (justin.reay@WHICH.NET)
Date: Mon, 28 Feb 2000 11:50:25 +0000
Subject: Re: PICASSO

Marion Marchand wrote:

Good for POB: I ,too have a great desire to attack Ariana Stassinopoulos,who strikes me as a real s--t. And,frankly, I think that being a truly great artist gives a man the right to be anything he pleases.

Its just as well Hitler was no great shakes as a painter then, else we would have a hard time condemning him. Great artists have the same resonsibility to people as the rest of us, or we would have anarchy - after all, what is "great art" to the Museum of Modern Art may just be some phoney prat pickling cows in formaldehyde to the more discerning.

Jay
who'd love to use his art as an excuse but finds he can't so apologises now to anyone he has hurt

NB: Arianna may be so far up herself she can clean her teeth from the back, but she was once a delightful person with a fascinating, very quick mind, good company at dinner and friendly with it, even to those who could not assist her meteoric rise through London literati; she was also the partner for some years of Bernard Levin, which demonstrates her superior intellect; since cosying up with politicos she seems to have lost her judgment and become somewhat less interesting


From: Peter Mackay (peter.mackay@BIGPOND.COM)
Date: Tue, 29 Feb 2000 04:57:23 +1100
Subject: Re: PICASSO"

who'd love to use his art as an excuse but finds he can't so apologises now to anyone he has hurt

Speaking of hurt, did Picasso ever sell any of his portraits to the people who commissioned them?


From: A. Frakt (frakt@POBOX.COM)
Date: Tue, 29 Feb 2000 19:30:15 -0600
Subject: Re: PICASSO

after all, what is "great art" to the Museum of Modern Art may just be some phoney prat pickling cows in formaldehyde to the more discerning.

Mmmmm, pickled cows.

- Homer Simpson


From: Stolzi@AOL.COM
Date: Sun, 27 Feb 2000 21:05:54 EST
Subject: Re: PICASSO, follow-up

Thanks, as always, to the List for enlightenment.

Having read the Foreword, I had glanced ahead to Picasso's student years and seen all these Maragalls and the like running about and had become excited - it turns out though that Picasso was =not= a Catalan, though he spent some formative years there. He spoke, one of his friends said, a mixture of Catalan and Castilian; his French, of which samples are given, was more fluent but no less delightful :) than Jack Aubrey's. Having seen POB's unfavorable reference to Francoise Gilot in the foreword, I looked =her= up, as I believe she was the only one of Picasso's women who left =him= (unbidden that is). =And= she wrote a book about him! POB does seem to feel, writing about her, that Francoise was unjustly selfish and bitchy.

He gives a somewhat more favorable account of Picasso's last years and late work than the recent (v interesting) TV retrospective I saw on the master.

Now I suppose I had better go back and read the middle. On the other hand, vol 10 of the canon is calling, calling...

Deeply, obstinately ignorant, self-opinionated, and ill-informed,

Mary S
35 58' 11" N
86 48' 57" W


From: John Finneran (John.Finneran@PILEOFSHIRTS.COM)
Date: Thu Mar 08 2001 - 15:34:23 EST
Subject: Re: PO'B's Picasso Website

Here's an interesting website I've come across recently, called "Resources for Patrick O'Brian's Picasso", which is apparently meant to complement PO'B's biography of Picasso. The URL is:

http://www.robotwisdom.com/jorn/picasso.html

John Finneran

P.S. I've had severe e-mail problems for the past week or so, which basically destroyed all my incoming e-mails (solved now, with the blessing), so if anyone's sent me anything of any importance during that time, please re-send it.


From: Susan Wenger (susanwenger@YAHOO.COM)
Date: Thu Mar 08 2001 - 14:48:37 EST
Subject: Re: PO'B's Picasso Website

Very interesting! For those who have not read O'Brian's biography of Picasso: I highly recommend it. O'Brian interjected enough of his own thoughts into this book that there are as many insights about himself as about his subject.

- Susan

=====
To learn about "The Port-Wine Sea," my parody of Patrick O'Brian's wonderful Aubrey-Maturin series, please see
http://www.ericahouse.com/browsebuy/fiction/wenger/index.html


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From: Jennifer Schultz
Sent: Thursday, March 21, 2002 9:39 PM
Subject: O'Brian- Picasso biography?

Good evening,ladies and gentlemen-

Happy Thursday to you.

The things you learn....I visited an old friend today. She and her partner have been blessed with a beautiful daughter (eight month old Abigail). In between making a fool of myself over this exquisite child,yelping when she bit my finger (those tiny teeth are *sharp*),and apologizing profusely to the babe when she protested my surprise,we discussed babies (hers and my future) and SOs,which led to inquiries about my weekend plans. My SO and I are going on a weekend trip to New Orleans to visit family,NOMA (New Orleans Museum of Art),and the new Pacific wing of the National D-Day Museum. Also an afternoon in the Quarter.

NOMA has a good Picasso collection,and since my last visit,shamefully,to NOMA was in high school,I am very excited about the trip,since my appreciation of Picasso and Degas (also an excellent collection) has increased since then. However,my knowledge of Picasso's life is nil.

Turns out,my friend has a biography of Picasso written by *the* Patrick O'Brian. At first,I thought it was just a coincidence of names. She ordered it from the A Common Reader catalog (a very good catalog,btw) and spoke highly of it,although it's been some time since she's read it (early days of college).

Has anyone read this-it's over 500 pages,and while that doesn't haunt me,the fact that this is another O'Brian title to investigate does. The prospect of a multi-volume series is beginning to overwhelm me,even though I'm falling in love with the canon. I have a weird problem-whenever I have too many titles that I want to read,I get overwhelmed. I don't know why. It only lasts for a few days,but it happens. Does this happen to anyone else,or I am just strange?

I'm not going to read it by Saturday,that's certain. But is this anything I should put on a wait list??

Jenn,anxious for the weekend. I haven't played "tourist" in New Orleans for some time.


From: Rosemary Davis
Sent: Thursday, March 21, 2002 9:48 PM
Subject: POB Picasso biography

I own it, but what with one thing and another I haven't yet read it. After the mad rush through the Canon I like having at least a little more POB in reserve. Overwhelmed by books?! :)

And no, I've never called a ship "she" - or thought of one as "she" - in my life. -RD, which I do sometimes try to be genteel, but it just ain't my nature, sorry