Giacometti and Tahar Ben

Ben Jelloun, Author Editions Flohic $24.95 (0p) ISBN 978-2-908958-01-0
In this lovely volume, Moroccan writer Ben Jelloun ( The Sand Child ) interprets Giacometti's work via a piquant combination of fact and fantasy. Alongside reproductions of the sculptor's elongated, pockmarked figures (and a few paintings) are Ben Jelloun's ruminations on Giacometti's art. The biographical detail is scarce, but we are told, in the sculptor's own words, that he ``had a horror of all possessions, of settling down of . . . arranging a nice life for himself when there is always that threat of death.'' Ben Jelloun feels that Giacometti was able to capture the ``wound'' of ``solitude, metaphysical and physical.'' He sees the sculptures as giving the impression that they are about to cross an endless expanse of sand: ``They are never at peace. Either they are doomed to a pain for which they have been made, or they have just emerged from difficult trials.'' Ben Jelloun sometimes goes too far with his fiction-making, as when he likens the face of a standing figure to ``the wounded voice of Billie Holiday.'' The artwork is well-chosen, aptly representing the spirit of Giacometti's haunting oeuvre and of Ben Jelloun's interpretative vision. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/02/1991
Release date: 09/01/1991
Genre: Nonfiction
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