blacktitle.jpg (12329 bytes)

Excerpts on CÚzanne from Charles Wright’s Notebooks


"CÚzanne: ‘I have my motif …’ (He joins his hands.)

Gasquet: ‘What?’

CÚzanne: ‘Yes …’ (He repeats his gesture, spreads his hands, the ten fingers open, brings them slowly together, slowly, then joins them, squeezes them, clenches them, inserts them together.) ‘There’s what must be attained, ,,, There must not be a single link too loose, a hole through which the emotion, the light or the truth may escape, I advance my entire picture at one time, you understand … I bring together in the same spirit, the same faithm all that is scattered. … I take from right, from left, from here, there, everywhere, tones, colors, shades; I fix them; I bring them together. … My canvas joins hands. It does not vacillate.’"

– J. Gasquet, CÚzanne


"The move toward a disintegration of the object in some of the most memorable works of a painter so passionately attached to objects is the attraction and the riddle of CÚzanne’s last phase. The element that usurped its place, the patch of color in itself …"

– Gowing on CÚzanne


"I have my motif," CÚzanne said, speaking of Mt. S. Victoire. And I have mine – the architecture of the poem, the landscape of the word. CÚzanne meant the reassembly of S. Victoire. I mean the same thing.

" … he regarded the colors as numinous essences, beyond which he ‘knew’ nothing, and the ‘dimand zones of God’ remained white …" (CÚzanne). Change "colors" to "words" and "white" to "blank" and you have something I believe …

from Charles Wright, "Halflife: A Commonplace Notebook," in Charles Wright, Halflife: Improvisations and Interviews, 1977-1987 (Ann Arbor: U Michigan P), 20, 21, 33-34, 37.


Return to Charles Wright