I am so
discombobulated when it comes to recalling verbatim from every 1980 John interview, but I know for certain John had read quite a bit on the life and times of Paul Gauguin. I don't know exactly what
books he may have read, but perhaps I will finally send out a tweet to Yoko inquiring about it if you all are curious enough.
In any case, I am including the 1978 classic collection of Gauguin's writings here. I
personally think this is the book John may have read that gave insight into some of the darker aspects of the painter's life.
For a little more than $15 you can own this book new on Amazon
and understand a bit about the tormented genius of Gauguin.
Here is a synopsis:
The life of Paul Gauguin (1848–1903), who abandoned his wife, five children, and a successful career as a stockbroker to paint in poverty in exotic Tahiti, is one of the legendary tales of the art world. Today he is recognized as a highly influential founding father of modern art, who emphasized the use of flat planes and bright, nonnaturalistic color in conjunction with symbolic or primitive subjects. Familiarity with Gauguin the writer is essential for a complete understanding of the artist. The Writings of a Savage collects the very best of his letters, articles, books, and journals, many of which are unavailable elsewhere. In brilliantly lucid discussions of life and art Gauguin paints a triumphant self-portrait of a volcanic artist and the tormented man within.