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This article is taken from PN Review 16, Volume 7 Number 2, November - December 1980.

Antibes Ronald Gaskell

The rooms are high, long and wide, filled with sunlight. Every few yards a window opens to the sea-the small waves dark blue, vivid, scalloped: Debussy's sea or Valéry's, 'toujours recommencée'.

The Nightfishing. A pair of girls, one with a bicycle and an ice-cream cone, on a stone jetty. The yellow of the lamp flares at the bow of the boat like a sun, mesmerising the fish. Two men lean over the side, staring; one of them grips his trident, ready to pierce a white flounder.

Light alters and illuminates the creatures of the sea, their shapes and colours. To the left, the towers of church and castle, piled in violet against the sky.

The whole thing has a strange, dreamlike atmosphere, as if seen from under water: green hovering into blue, the planes of blue suddenly modifying each other, offering several perspectives at the same time.

Sea-urchins, prickly as hedgehogs, with a bottle. A dish of grapes. A guitar, two apples. Knife, glass, melon-the fruit wide open, its warm segment exposed.

Coming from the market, one is struck again by the force of Picasso's images. Voices, gestures, smells are either faint or non-existent here, yet the senses are sharpened. We feel hungrier, more alert.

A faun, cross-legged, plays the double flute. Not far from him a strong, cheerful centaur, forehooves prancing, carries a trident across his shoulders. Did the centaurs carry tridents? A round face, like ...


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