During our month-long research in India we spoke with three broad sets of informants: 1) local villagers who were privy to Laubiès' various pastimes, 2) western travellers who knew René in that roughly six-year period of winters, and 3) administrators, doctors and other health care workers associated with the elderly patient during his eleven-day residence at Wenlock Government Hospital, Mangalore.
In the later part of February 2008, we received an endowment in the form of an air ticket, Singapore–Paris–Singapore, for the sake of expanding my research. We visited Paris from Feb 24 to Mar 24, 2008. A major objective in going to Paris was obviously to meet Paul Facchetti. We tried my best but failed to meet him, and we place the blame squarely on our own ill resolve and lack of French. Yet not unsurprisingly, numerous people when learning of our project consistently asked if we had met with Paul Facchetti. "We're trying to!" we said. Yet nobody offered to arrange a first meeting. All the same, after speaking to various friends and colleagues, we became more aware of Paul Facchetti's immense historical significance, not merely through his long association with Laubiès, but by his own individual achievements far more.
It was ultimately Mr. Castor SEIBEL, art critic and collector who more then anyone else in Paris beseeched us to go and meet Paul Facchetti. "Before it is too late!" he dramatically implored. "Do you know if he's still alive?" he asked. "Yes" we replied, "A person we know just talked to him on the phone. He lives in the States but flew to Paris when he knew we wee in Paris. We're supposed to meet tomorrow for lunch."
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Let us halfway sum up here. It was only from the point of meeting Castor Seibel at Galerie Di Meo, rue des Beaux-Arts that we began to fathom the immense importance of meeting and speaking with Paul Facchetti. Our deepening research on the life and work of René Laubiès discloses all the more that Facchetti represents a living spring of crucial art-historical data. Paul Facchetti was among Laubiès' earliest supporters in the 50s in Paris, and his Galerie Facchetti was the first to exhibit a selection of Laubiès' work. In his Portraits et Aphorismes (2001), René gives expression to the admiration that he held for his long-time friend and colleague. The pithy accolade is especially marked when weighed against the general balance of the text as contained in the limited Italian edition wherein otherwise René does nothing but expose his famous blend of comic wit and venomous tongue.
See René's brief portrait of Facchetti here.
See also Fautrier, Seibel, Facchetti, Le Noci, Magliano.