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Picasso: My Grandfather Hardcover – Import, 2001

13 customer reviews

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Hardcover, Import, 2001

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: CHATTO AND WINDUS; First Edition (1 in number line) edition (2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0701173602
  • ISBN-13: 978-0701173609
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,815,324 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Mark Terran on December 19, 2007
Format: Paperback
One reader called this a book of self pity. What is "self pity?" Do you mean that if a person experiences a personal tragedy or trauma they are not allowed the humanity of recognizing that they, too, are human? They are not allowed to mourn? They are not allowed to come to terms with the truth?

They are not allowed to tell the truth lest it stir up guilt in abusive parents and grandparents other than Picasso? They are not allowed any measure of justice?

Telling the Truth is not Self Pity. "Self Pity" involves giving up and refusing to struggle toward health and happiness. Obviously Marina has engaged in this struggle. Not only has she gone to the necessary trouble of coming to terms with the cause of her suffering, she also has gone on to a state of improved well-being and a life of selfless and effective service as evidenced by her work among the orphans of Vietnam.

As a bonus, she leaves, by way of her book, an aid to others who must engage in a similar struggle.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Tim Johnson on March 22, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Unfortunately I heard other people's impression of this book before and as I read it those impressions were a thick mask covering the sensitivity and pathos of Marina's story. Yes-the book is hard going initially because she spends much time stiching together the impact of living under the shadow of, arguably, the greatest painter of the twentieth century; however, if the reader perseveres and follows her story to its uplifting and expansive conclusion, they will be rewarded.

As Marina finally confesses in the last chapter of her memoir, beginning life or living part of your life under the canvas of a man named Pablo Picasso was terribly difficult. On page 183 she catalogues the immediate Picasso family members who comitted suicide: three and possibly four if you count Dora Maar who starved to death rather than sell her Picasso paintings. Marina writes on the same page, "I was meant to be one of the victims as well".

I will never forget that Marina did what too many rich, well off people fail to do and that is to use her considerable [yet small by world standards] Picasso fortune to create a village in Viet Nam to house and care for orphan children-several of those children she adopted into her own family of two children. Obviously she was looking to provide a childhood she felt had been denied her by living under the shadow of her famous grandfather.

I left this book thinking better of humanity and I recommend Marina's memoir to any reader interested in the life of someone connected but unconnected to greatness.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By K. Daley on February 21, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Before you send Marina to trial, you must walk a mile (or more)in her shoes. There is always the "he said, she said" story to any tale, but I must tell you, being isolated from ones family member, no matter what the circumstances, can be devistating. Not to mention the influence of one very powerful figure head of the family, in which everyone seems to define themselves. Make no mistake, I count Picasso as one of the great artists. But most artists are tragic. The great ones suffered for it and made the ones around them miserable. Any great invertor's, artist's, scientist's, revoluntionist's, etc offspring will contest. Everything is sacrificed for the creators "art" no matter what "medium" form it comes in. We all carry a cross.

Even though he is one of my favorite artists, I am glad I heard Marina's side of the story. Bitter you say?? She could have claimed so much, but instead chose to use the money she received to help others. As an adoptive mother from outside my own country, I can only applaud her efforts. Marina, I think you are wonderful. I hope to someday do great things in my son's native country. I have seen great suffering there, worse than any other I have known. I can learn from adversity and make good.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Biographical_Book_Lover on September 30, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It goes without saying that any reader of this book will feel that life was certainly not good to Marina and Pablito Picasso when they were children and teenagers. The largest portion of this seems to be attributed to their wayward mother and absent, defeated father (Picasso's eldest son, Paulo).

I felt for Marina while reading this book because I believe her segment of the family was particularly affected by Picasso's actions, which was tolerated and not handled appropriately by her parents (as it appears to have been by Francoise Gilot, who took firm charge over the direction and happiness of her children by getting them away from the direct influence of the "Minotaur" as the others did not).

Marina Picasso gives real insight into the idea that Picasso had a true horrific and demeaning psychic powerhold over the Olga side of the family. Which was - again - obviously allowed and even condoned by her parents, Paulo and Emilliene.

No doubt Picasso was a self-absorbed man and Jacqueline exploited her position and authority over the "other" families. However, to attribute Picasso's powerhold for the direct troubles in this particular family is the pitiable part. But this was indeed their fate, or so it seems from Marina's perspective.

This book is a good read and I commend Marina Picasso for this account. It does offer strong insight into the Olga side of the family, and their desire to hold onto the Picasso mystique.

And it should be noted that Marina uses her "Picasso" money to help others (as with her Vietnamese foundation for orphans).
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