Friday, June 29, 2007

Brian Sewell: A beautiful portrait


Thank God (or the gods) that Brian Sewell still has a place in British journalism - as art critic of the London Evening Standard. How editor Veronica Wadley must cringe as a Sewell sentence uncoils like a vast and fattened boa constrictor, minimally interrupted by the occasional comma or semi-colon. His paragraphs, too, are modelled in proportion on the huge chiselled stones of the pyramids; one wonders whether word slaves heave these great blocks into space, as sad little tart hacks elsewhere have to settle for sound-bite prose.

Recently I was privileged to discover the work of Paul Binnie, who I understand is a comfort of sorts to Mr Sewell - but that Madame Arcati could say the same! In particular I was drawn to Paul's portrait in oil of Sewell - a fabulous sight, entitled The Turkophile. You may have seen it already, but in case you haven't, here it is; purloined without permission, so I suppose Mr B will threaten to sue me along with everyone else. He should grant me an interview instead so that we may luxuriate in the aromatherapy of Sewell.

To enjoy Paul Binnie's brilliant art, do visit his site and make him rich(er) [Click here].

For the enlargement of your vocabulary, and other things, do visit the master himself [click here].

PS: Someone once described Sewell's voice thus: "He sounds like a dowager duchess carefully recalling a large turd she was once mistakenly served during tea at Claridge's. After a while, though, you stop noticing the peculiar enunciation; it is the words that fascinate ..."

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

TIME OUT

BODY:


Madame Arcati (named after the eccentric medium in Noel Coward's 'Blithe Spirit') calls herself a 'showbiz and media clairvoyante'. The tone of her notably - some might say revealingly - witty and well-written blog recalls pop gossip newsletter Popbitch, but the thrust of her revelations is generally literary. She was first with the news of the sobbing and wine-throwing that ensued when Indie hack John Walsh made the fatal error of inviting both his long-term partner and his mistress to the launch of his first novel.

An attentive observer of the baffling Jon Snow/Precious Williams non-affair, she currently has her knife stuck into Diana's latest biographer, Tina Brown: 'She has a reputation for a modish, magpie use of shiny word-finds, as if the employment of the latest now-word or phrase shifts her into the symphonic moment ... ' Me-oww!

Lorenzo said...

> He should grant me an interview instead so that we may luxuriate in the aromatherapy of Sewell.

Ahem... Then make sure that your internet box is duly plugged in before emailing him. “Errare humanum sed perseverare diabolicum” – hey, Ms Baroque and Duralex, I too can quote latin!

Arcati said...

To Lorenzo I say this: Estne volumen in toga, an solum tibi libet me videre?

Anonymous said...

How editor Veronica Wadley must cringe as a Sewell sentence uncoils like a vast and fattened boa constrictor, minimally interrupted by the occasional comma or semi-colon. His paragraphs, too, are modelled in proportion on the huge chiselled stones of the pyramids; one wonders whether word slaves heave these great blocks into space, as sad little tart hacks elsewhere have to settle for sound-bite prose.


What beautiful writing Madame A..
I salute that para.

SUSAN HILL

Arcati said...

Thank you Susan - I'm honoured.