Interview Gino Delmas

My 5 favorite… books – Marcelo Gomes

Marcelo is talented as a photographer, to say the least. But when the Brazilian-born does not shoot for Opening Ceremony, Van’s, Stüssy or for magazines like T, Popeye or Dazed, he reads books. A lot of books. We ask him for a short list of its favorites.

How would you describe your relationship to literature?
I’ve always read a little. I used to read completely unrelated things (irrelevant to my course of study at University to avoid studying for actual tests. I studied Political Science and ended up reading James Joyce sometimes. But reading everyday didn’t really start until 5 or 6 years ago. I don’t meditate but I imagine that reading does something similar for me as it makes me focus on one single thing and scatter at the same time. I focus and from whatever beautiful structure or sound I can extrapolate from the text it takes me to what feels like rescued imagination. It makes me feel like anything is possible, and the connections I can make to and from what I am reading make me feel youthful and it brings me immense joy. Also, something I’ve gotten really into is roomy books; books with a good amount of WHITE space around the text, and beautiful typesetting.  The Fitzcarraldo Editions guys do a great job with that. It makes for a super pleasant read. It’s like reading outside in a park bench on a sunny day but at home.
Where does this passion comes from?
I suppose it comes from something that was missing. I work with the visual medium (I take pictures — moving and still) and I thought that things were too easy with pictures for me. This may sounds pedantic but I was feeling so saturated with imagery that it made me want to focus on something less precise, or exact (which is already something that comes up in my photographic work – less precise) Not that it isn’t exciting to create imagery — it just felt incomplete. Reading imagery described on the page made making palpable pictures feel more worthwhile for me.
When do you read in your daily life ?

I read everyday, 60-90 minutes a day on average. Sometimes I read multiple books at once — theory in the morning, fiction at night. I used to say I didn’t read fiction that often, but I read it more and more now. Having moved to Paris recently (from New York City) I’m having to find new favorite places and times to read. It depends on the light, how many pages are left in that particular book, if it’s cold… I tend to save the last 30 to 40 pages of a book for a beautiful day when I can read outside. Which is when reading different books at once comes in handy, I can create delays and alternate books so that I get to fully enjoy every book. There are moments when I don’t have anything new to read at the house and that feels really terrible (because a book I ordered has taken longer than expected to arrive or to be shipped or I finished something sooner than I thought I would) It’s like having eggs in the kitchen. I always have to have eggs; if I don’t I feel like the house is void.

The Book of Disquiet - Fernando Pessoa

Impossible to describe this book about nothing. Fragmented and coherent/concise. Some of the most beautiful prose I’ve ever read. I read this one in Portuguese (I’m from Brazil, and Pessoa is from Portugal), which is my mother tongue. This book felt like bright white sunlight on the skin.

A Year With Swollen Appendices - Brian Eno

I’ve read this book 3 times, recently I read it again because my friend Pierre was reading it and I was also without anything new at home to read. I’m a huge Brian Eno fan. I think Caetano Veloso and Brian Eno are my favorite pop artists. This book is a journal he kept and wrote on everyday in 1995 and it’s fascinating, funny, warm, and filled with things I didn’t know. I’ll probably keep reading it over and over and over again.

The Man Without Qualities - Robert Musil

I love this book very much. I’m still not quite sure why, but I did speak about it with my analyst, and reading it made me ponder paternal relationships in my life (not just with my father, but the way I relate to other men) and I wished I’d read it sooner. It really reached inside of me, speaking to the young man I was and the man I’d become. It’s fiction (the backdrop is the end of Austro-Hungarian empire) but the main character goes on these 3, 4, 10 page monologues that are very beautiful and weighted essays on various things. Wish I’d read this one when I was turning 31 for some reason. I read it a little later.

Objects In This Mirror - Brian Dillon

These are essays that are very personal and sometimes a bit dark. I enjoy his writing a lot. I think I wanted to recommend ‘Essayism’, but I don’t have the book with me, it’s in a container that in its turn is in a ship, making its way to continental France, so I can’t take a picture of it, but Objects in this Mirror came with me. He’s great. Read them both.

In The Shadow Of Young Girls In Flower - Marcel Proust

The title kills me. Surprisingly, I sped through ’Swann’s Way’ and very quickly got into this one (the second book in the series), and I can’t believe how beautiful some of these pages are. It’s not just impressive, but transportative and imagetic. And again, entire PAGES of unparalleled beauty. What this man did with language without parallel.

Marcelo Gomes

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