Titian: Nymph & Shepard (with Katya Berger)
Non-fiction , 1996
This book is first a dialogue between a daughter and a father about life, physical sensation, mortality. Both seem to listen to the other with great attention. Secondly it is the extraordinary vehicle for a series of insights into the everyday life and the art of the great Venetian master, following an uncanny incident at the large exhibition of his work staged in Venice in 1990. While attending the exhibition Katya meets an old man, who she becomes convinced can only be the ghost of the great painter. Her 'spiritual' visitor engages her in conversation about the minute particularities of painting some of the pictures there. She shares this experience with her father in a letter. He accepts the encounter at face value and discusses the historical background to the old man's remarks, seeking answers to a series of evidential questions about his daughter's encounter. From then on, the three of them, the old painter, the daughter, and the father discuss animals, Greece, fur, sexuality, the strangeness of drawing.