“Old paint on canvas, as it ages, sometimes becomes transparent. When that happens it is possible, in some pictures, to see the original lines : a tree will show through a woman’s dress, a child makes way for a dog, a large boat is no longer on an open sea. That is called pentimento because the painter ‘repented’, changed his mind. Perhaps it would be as well to say that the old conception, replaced by a later choice, is a way of seeing and then seeing again.
That is all I mean about the people in this book. The paint has aged now and I wanted to see what was there for me once, what is there for me now.”
— Lillian Hellman : Pentimento
Thought of the day :
I remember I used to write down when and where I got my books. Look here, on the inside cover – 14/12/78 Kelly & Walsh. I don’t do it any more.
I am trying to remember. I did watch Zinnemann’s Julia before getting the book. Pentimento. I love the sound of the word. It’s beautiful. I didn’t know it is Italian. I didn’t know its meaning. I looked up the dictionary. Repentance.
Are we always given the opportunity to look back? My friend introduced me to international cinemas and literature. In a secondhand bookshop in San Diego he pulled An Unfinished Woman down from the shelf and handed it to me. I have read all of her books since.
Did I remember to say Thank you?