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Old Man Goya

(2002)
A non fiction book by

 
Julia Blackburn has already established herself as one of the finest writers of non-fiction, but with Old Man Goya she takes her ability to re-create the past to a new level in her haunting evocation of the final years of the great Spanish painter, Francisco de Goya. Partly inspired by the painful loss her own mother (who was also a painter), Blackburn's desire to write about Goya developed when she learnt that in 1792, at the age of 47, the painter went permanently deaf; "I wanted to know what sort of world this deaf man had inhabited and how he had managed to live with the isolation of deafness and how it had changed the way he used his remaining senses". The result is a remarkably perceptive voyage into Goya's mind, which hovers between history and fiction, as Blackburn moves between the death of her own mother, visits to Goya's old haunts in Spain and France, and the painter's own remarkable lust for life in the midst of domestic upheavals and the horrors of warfare in early 19th-century Spain.

Old Man Goya moves from Goya's early days as a rich court painter, creating "dozens of designs of light-hearted subjects", to the trauma of deafness, the devastation of the bloody Peninsula War that swept Iberia between 1807 and 1812, the death of his first wife and old age with a mistress half his age. Interspersed amongst the text are 23 beautiful Goya copperplates through which Blackburn "can see Goya, a silent witness who makes no comment, but gives a shape to everything he sees", whose relish for the absurd, the cruel and the carnivalesque remained with him throughout his long life. Blackburn's elegant prose and unerring eye for domestic and artistic detail creates a wonderfully compassionate portrait of Goya, and she happily concedes to being "caught up in the spinning energy of the man as he hurtled relentlessly through the years", a journey that her readers will find well worth pursuing. --Jerry Brotton

 
Used availability for Julia Blackburn's Old Man Goya


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Hardback Editions

August 2004 : USA Turtleback
Title: Old Man Goya
Author(s): Julia Blackburn
ISBN: 0-606-31091-6 / 978-0-606-31091-8 (USA edition)
Publisher: Demco Media
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

July 2003 : USA Library Binding
Title: Old Man Goya
Author(s): Julia Blackburn
ISBN: 1-4176-4492-3 / 978-1-4176-4492-6 (USA edition)
Publisher: San Val
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

April 2002 : USA Hardback
Title: Old Man Goya
Author(s): Julia Blackburn
ISBN: 0-375-40611-5 / 978-0-375-40611-9 (USA edition)
Publisher: Pantheon
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

April 2002 : UK Hardback
Title: Old Man Goya
Author(s): Julia Blackburn
ISBN: 0-224-06279-4 / 978-0-224-06279-4 (UK edition)
Publisher: Jonathan Cape Ltd
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Paperback Editions

July 2003 : USA Paperback
Title: Old Man Goya
Author(s): Julia Blackburn
ISBN: 0-375-70579-1 / 978-0-375-70579-3 (USA edition)
Publisher: Vintage
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

April 2003 : UK Paperback
Title: Old Man Goya
Author(s): Julia Blackburn
ISBN: 0-09-943725-2 / 978-0-09-943725-3 (UK edition)
Publisher: Vintage
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Kindle Editions

October 2012 : USA, Canada Kindle edition
Title: Old Man Goya
Author(s): Julia Blackburn
Publisher: Vintage
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA   

September 2010 : UK Kindle edition
Title: Old Man Goya
Author(s): Julia Blackburn
Publisher: Vintage Digital
Availability: Amazon UK   



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