my Notebook

I just love books which work for me as "bridges", linking me to other books, music, movies, biographies... Inspiration. Surprises. Insights.

so this is it here -- these are the references and background information from real life for 'the last canvas'

stop by often, there will be frequent additions to this page, thank you!

'The last canvas' friends, readers, followers and visitors come from several countries all over the world...

Angola, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Barbados, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, Macau, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia,Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Venezuela, Vietnam...

My heartfelt thanks to all for your curiosity and taking interest in this online novel, for your patience in waiting for the updates and coping with my broken English, and for the comments that are such a precious feedback and help me get through my creative blockages.

...on two very delicate moments in Carlo and Armand's relationship, Louis Malle's movie "Le Souffle au Couer" is mentioned, especially the dialog between Lea Massari, who plays the mother, and her son named Laurent... "I don't want you to be unhappy, or ashamed, or sorry..." she says to her son after the incest scene, and Carlo and Armand quote it to one another, too... If you haven't watched it already on the link at chapter 5, you can watch the mentioned sequence here

...I think that Carlo might have taken the inspiration for his son's name from the movie above, and from the fact that when they met back in the 1970s,Catherine's best loved couturier was Yves Saint-Laurent - it's his the summer dress she kept wearing on the Île du Blanchomme.

-- I don't want a boy -- Catherine declared -- It will be a girl. And I want to name her Sophie.
-- What if it's a boy? -- Carlo insisted.
-- If it's a boy, you can choose his name. I do not care. Since it's a French name, I'm pleased with whatever. (chapter Nine, continued)

...the story of the shipwreck in Punaoiuilo as told in chapter Seven, continued was loosely based on the masterpiece "Shipwrecks" by Japanese writer Akira Yoshimura. No copyright infringement nor plagiarism is intended -- it's more like a tribute to a book I adore, one of the best I have ever read in my life, laconic and intense at the same time. is mentioned here as my inspiration for the diversion in that chapter, as well as a reading suggestion.

...since the Visual Arts seem to unite the main characters in this novel and is a constant theme in their conversations, I thought I'd share a list of the artist that have been mentioned in 'the last canvas'.

clicking on the images should take you to the artist's official websites, when available: 

Giorgio Morandi


Gerhard Richter

Pierre Soulages

Richard Serra

Francis Bacon

Lucian Freud

David Hockney

Does Laurent actually look like the replicant played by Rutger Hauer in Ridley Scott's movie Blade Runner?

In 1992, Laurent and Angelo were both 17 y.o. when they watched "Blade Runner" (Director's cut), a re-edition of Ridley Scott's 1982 original movie. Angelo was expecting a sci-fi action movie and got bored with the slow, contemplative pacing. Laurent was fascinated with the tematic, the sceneries, the atmosphere, with Vangelis' soundtrack, but he didn't identify himself much with the main character played by Harrison Ford -- his heart was all with Rutger Hauer who played the replicant Roy Batty. Feeling himself a renegade (E.S.T.'s 'Serenade for the Renegade' is the first song mentioned in the story, back in chapter One), Laurent was crying so helplessly at the 'Tears in Rain' scene, Hauer's final monologue, that Angelo actually asked Laurent to leave the theater. 'You're embarassing me!', and when Laurent wouldn't leave, Angelo found the excuse to walk out on the movie and go to an arcade. Often from that day on, Laurent tried to look or dress like Hauer's Batty, albeit unintentionally, and he still cries upon watching 'Tears in Rain'.

Gustave Coubert's 1866 painting "L'Origine du monde" is mentioned in chapter Nine, as Carlo loses his virginity with Catherine, after having read Lacan to her (the famous psychoanalist and his family owned the painting from 1955 until 1995). Despite the crude fact that all humans beings have had this exact same passage in their origin all over the planet since the beginning of mankind, many people seem unable to face the fact and the painting, and it has a history of controversies up to these days, when it's been banished even from Facebook. A brief history can be read here

This is a short video with the main characters of Book One -- Laurent, Carlo, Armand and Catherine -- in movement, with a glimpse of their life on the Île du Blanchomme and some of the most important - and emotional - moments so far.

"Neither glamorously decadent like Dick Diver nor ruthlessly handsome as Belmondo's Michel Poiccard, I was more like a helpless, clumsy Mr. Hulot, naive at best."

 In Chapter Ten, Carlo compares himself to three fictional characters, the romantic not so much of a hero Dick Diver from Scott Fitzgerald's 1934 book "Tender is the Night", the Nouvelle Vague anti-hero Michel Poicard played by Jean-Paul Belmondo in Jean-Luc Godard's 1960 movie "À bout de souffle", and Monsieur Hulot, created and played by Jacques Tati in a series of movies from 1953 until 1971.

These book covers have appeared in the pictures of 'the last canvas' -- have you noticed them? Not all books have been mentioned in the text -- they were just laying around Catherine (the two on top) and Laurent (the two at the bottom). These characters are the greatest readers in the novel, along with Armand de Montbelle and Angelo Vivace, and like a gesture or a sentence, the books they read will be telling a lot about these characters. 

I have been publishing more on pinterest, where I have several boards with RL references for the characters — Laurent, Angelo and Fabrizio have their own — and their life styles, clothing, locations and other inspirations for “the last canvas”. Click on the image below, and I hope to see you there, too.

you can read it from the FIRST CHAPTER here.

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