Este livro figura na lista dos 100 livros favoritos do David Bowie. Não foi por isso que o encontrei, mas sim porque me foi recomendado por uma leitora que muito prezo. E a leitura foi muito recompensadora. Cheia de pequeninos encantos, como por exemplo, descobrir que as repetidas bocas abertas nas pinturas de Bacon se inspiram num livro de doenças da boca humana que o pintor encontrou ainda muito jovem.
DS: So you might well have been interested in painting open mouths and teeth even if you hadn’t been painting the scream?
FB: I think I might. And I’ve always wanted and never succeeded in painting the smile.
FB: If I go into a butcher’s shop I always think it’s surprising that I wasn’t there instead of the animal.
(…) if life excites you, its opposite, like a shadow, death, must excite you.
(…) Ah, well, you can be optmistic and totally without hope. One’s basic nature is totally without hope, and yet one’s nervous system is made out of optimistic stuff.
DS: At what age did you come to realize that death was going to happen to you too?
FB: I realized when I was seventeen. I remembre it very, very clearly. I remembre looking at a dog-shit on the pavement and I suddenly realized, there i tis – this is what life is like.
But I don’t think I’m gifted. I just think I’m receptive.
If I go to the National Gallery and I look a tone of the great paintings that excite me there, as that the painting unlocks all kinds of valves of sensation within me which return me to life more violently.
I think that people are so attached to their egos that they’d probably rather have the torment than simple annihilation.
DS: You’d prefer the torment yourself?
FB: Yes, I would, because if I was in hell I would always feel I had a chance of escaping. I’d always be sure that I’d be able to escape.