Sunday 27 October 2019

The Observer Observed

Accounts of meetings with Anita Brookner are often treasurable. Julian Barnes (follow the 'Julian Barnes' label at the foot of this post) was a friend; Roy Strong enjoyed several chance encounters (ditto 'Roy Strong'); James Lees-Milne commented acidly on her hair (here); and even I once met her, not quite by chance, in a London street (here).

The artist Zsuzsi Roboz sketched a portrait of her, the experience of which Roboz wrote about in 2011:

In the case of my meeting with Anita Brookner, I felt this was an occasion for mutual observation; she didn't miss a thing and seemed to be storing up every detail of my character and appearance as much as I was hers. The 'face to face' project was, in a sense, a series of duels between myself and the sitter, and also an occasion to witness the observer observed.

The resulting picture, with its clairvoyant stare, complements the many memorable photographs of the author, and can be seen here.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Questions and comments are always welcome. (Please note: there will be a short delay before publication, as comments are moderated.)