I’m never at a loss when it comes to what to write about, as I hope the contents of this collection will show. Paris has often been a favourite place to visit, despite a lost battle with the French language. There have always been foreign writers and artists in Paris, and they make for worthwhile investigation. But other aspects of the city, such as its philosophers and its radical history, have also occupied my attention.
England has its artists, too, and in writing about Sven Berlin, Stanley Spencer, and John Bratby, I’ve focused on three who might be said to have been oddballs, in their different ways. Berlin and Bratby can probably be categorised as bohemians, but Spencer was just eccentric.It isn’t only the bohemianism or the eccentricities that involve me. I like the work that all three produced, even if, especially in Berlin or Bratby’s case, it could be variable in quality. But they were interesting.