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People only have the despair they can afford

Michael Peppiatt - Francis Bacon in Your Blood: A Memoir

"Bacon’s entourage, which included Sonia Orwell, was no cheerier. The influential critic and editor Cyril Connolly casually remarked to Peppiatt, “The very idea of Sonia being happy is obscene.” Orwell, among Bacon’s gallery of rogues, is a highlight of Peppiatt’s memoir; after their near sexual incursion is foiled by Connolly’s lurking presence, Orwell asks Peppiatt how Connolly can still be lusting for her “after all these years.”

With the arrival of the 21st century, Bacon’s works have fetched exorbitant auction prices, drawing fire from critics, who call for reappraisal. But Peppiatt’s remembrance is neither tribute nor apologia. “Francis Bacon in Your Blood” is a candid portrayal of a famous man who could be very generous, even with his foes, and very petty, even with his friends — and Bacon, to his credit, was acutely aware of his own frailties. When Peppiatt, always anxious about exciting Bacon’s temper, ventured that “people only have the despair they can afford,” Bacon conceded, “You’ve just said something very profound.” Link 

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