Spring 1966 • Vol. XXVIII No. 2 Nonfiction |

Excursion

The grand old men of the School of Paris are dead now, or scattered in Riviera villas. The only great name who goes on working in Paris, centering his life around a studio there as if this was still 1910 or 1930, is Alberto Giacometti …   I first knew Giacometti in the uneasy winter of 1940, when we were all waiting for the world to end. He looked then much as he does now—the deeply lined face, the fierce, deepset eyes, the unruly, wiry hair, the long yellow fingers working feverishly, ceaselessly at the lumps of clay on his stand. Day and night, he limped around that stand, poking, crumbling, cursing, beginning again. He talked much as he does now, rapid, staccato sentences, burning with intelligence; he was obsessed by the impossibility of what he was trying to do but the necessity of doing it just the same. And his works looked very much as they look now, only they were much smaller. He would start with something ordinary-sized; say a head the size of a human head. Bu

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