THE SAINT OF MONTPARNASSE by Peter Neagoe

THE SAINT OF MONTPARNASSE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This is a grandly conceived, poorly written mis-novel based on the life and mystical ferment of Constantin Brancusi, the great sculptor, whose most famous work ""Bird in Space"" helped define modern art. Novelist Neagoe, an intimate friend, was in at the death. As novelist, Neagoe is no Brancusi; he is arch traditional, his characters exhibit stock responses of the sentimental novel, smile and nod at skin-deep wisdom. Child Brancusi took to sculpture and carving like Mozart to the harpsichord. Son of Rumanian peasants, his own workshop at fifteen, he hewed boulders into calves and colts. An uninspired perfectionist at Bucharest's art academy, he bent himself to take one step beyond Rodin. This step of insight he discovered in cosmic occultism which influenced his life and revamped him into a ""sainted"" mystic. In Paris Brancusi is struck by the iconoclastic vitality of the Fauves and Impressionists and Primitivists. Despite Neagoe, it is inspiring to watch Brancusi master and cast aside the schools. Finally, he becomes himself, passing from imitative to conceptual art. With Rodin, Modigliani, Apollinaire and others providing their esthetics, the dialogue is better than the anonymous prose.

Pub Date: April 12th, 1965
Publisher: Chilton