He comes here daily,
endlessly repeats the same motif,
his whole existence focused
on the mountain, on the struggle
to relate the scene before him
to the one appearing on his canvas,
stays until the light fades,
packs his things and,
unappeased, tramps home,
begins again tomorrow.
Cézanne’s agony, the doubt
he feels about the value of his work,
stems just from this: he starts
not with a given image, ready-made,
but seeks instead to make anew
each time the sense we have
of looking at and living in the world –
and thus creating it.
After Gabriel Josipovici, Whatever Happened to Modernism? Chapter 8: “A Universe for the First Time Bereft of All Signposts.”
Writer and book blogger Victoria Best recently conducted a long and wonderful interview with the novelist and critic Gabriel Josipovici that makes you want to rush off and read/re-read his books – I did, and found the cadences of his critical writing so lovely they were almost a poem.