... A couple of days later I went to Vallauris, climbed the overgrown slope to Picasso’s ugly little house, and found the family, including Paulo, the son of the artist’s first marriage, just finishing lunch at about half past two. I was aware that if one were to find them at home, this was the most likely hour. Picasso knew that I had been seeing Cocteau and soon inquired about him. “Not too dopey from smoking?” he sarcastically inquired. “Not to my knowledge,” I answered, reflecting that Picasso might have refrained from sarcasm, having been in his youth heavily addicted to the pipe. I said that Jean wanted to come and pay his old friend a visit and asked what day would be convenient. Any day would be convenient, Picasso replied, but there were days when he was absent, so callers had to take their chances. If I wanted to escort Cocteau to Vallauris, I should consult my lucky stars to find the right moment. This certainly did not constitute an invitation, even less a specific appointm…
Aisha Sabatini Sloan
Episode 22: “Form and Formlessness”
In an essay specially commissioned for the podcast, Aisha Sabatini Sloan describes rambling around Paris with her father, Lester Sloan, a longtime staff photographer for Newsweek, and a glamorous woman who befriends them. In an excerpt from The Art of Fiction no. 246, Rachel Cusk and Sheila Heti discuss how writing her first novel helped Cusk discover her “shape or identity or essence.” Next, Allan Gurganus’s reading of his story “It Had Wings,” about an arthritic woman who finds a fallen angel in her backyard, is interspersed with a version of the story rendered as a one-woman opera by the composer Bruce Saylor. The episode closes with “Dear Someone,” a poem by Deborah Landau.
Rachel Cusk photo courtesy the author.
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