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This account of the wild life of the celebrated English painter covers his childhood in Dublin; his years of gambling, drinking, and petty thievery; and the enormous genius expressed in his ar

Farson, an art critic and author of a biography of his great-uncle Bram Stoker, The Man Who Wrote Dracula , draws on his 40-year friendship with Bacon to write this gossipy, loosely constructed and ultimately self-indulgent biography of the British painter who died in 1992 at the age of 82. The Bacon who emerges here is a stereotype of the artist as a defiant libertine whose revels flout the decorum of a hypocritical society. Farson discusses at length Bacon's appetites--for wine, for food and for lovers chosen from London's rough trade, including the illiterate, charismatic George Dyer, who was Bacon's frequent model and muse. Most of the friends and hangers-on that clutter Farson's book are too haphazardly sketched to reveal much about Bacon himself; the torrent of anecdotes defies attempts to link Bacon's private life to the screaming popes, truncated torsos and writhing beasts of his corrosive art. Bacon's need, as he put it, to "reinvent the language of paint," remains unilluminated. Photos. 
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

In this very personal memoir, journalist Farson, a longtime friend of the artist, portrays Bacon as a man who spent much of his 83 years among the outcasts of society, exploring the darker sides of London until his death in 1992. Farson's straightforward prose covers the general outline of the artist's life but is weak on those times when the author was out of the picture. Though November 1993 saw the publication of another portrait, Andrew Sinclair's Francis Bacon: His Life and Violent Times (Crown), a definitive Bacon biography covering all aspects of the artist's life and work remains to be written. Recommended for larger academic and public libraries as an interesting glimpse into an extraordinary life


 

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Books Fall Open by David McCord

Books fall open, You fall in
delighted where you've never been;
Hear Voices not once heard before,
Reach world on world through door on door;
Find unexpected keys to things locked up beyond imaginings;

What might you be, perhaps become, 
Because one book is somewhere?

Some wise delver into wisdom, wit,
And wherewithal has written it.

True books will venture, dare you out,
Whisper secrets, maybe shout

Across the gloom to you in need
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