Friday 22 September 2017

Cezanne exuded immense aura of life

Coming from a real lost generation, the French artist smote me with an extraordinary sense of awe, says Con Houlihan

Con Houlihan

Ernest Hemmingway was fond of saying that he belonged to a lost generation. Seemingly he was talking about his fellow Americans in post-war Paris. I always thought of Ernest and Scott Fitzgerald, John Dos Passos and other American writers and artists as an extremely fortunate generation.

They were living in a lovely city at a time when the exchange rate between the dollar and the franc was very much in their favour. I suspect that Ernest was indulging in a kind of romantic self pity.

I belonged to a lost generation -- and I make that assertion without the slightest trace of romanticism or self pity. I attempted to grow up in a community where we had a choice of only two games -- you played Gaelic Football or Rugby. The mental climate was so unhealthy that you couldn't play both. There were no under-age competitions.

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