Carla Bruni's teenage obsessions: 'Francis Bacon shows our confusion, desire, madness'
As she returns with a new album, the French chanteuse recalls the genius of the Clash and Henry James, plus encounters with Balearic naturists
I discovered this Gabriel García Márquez book in the summer when I was between 15 and 16. My parents were avid readers, so our houses were full of books. In our summer house, which was quite a big house, there were books everywhere, even in the bathroom. Teenagers then read much more than they do now because there was much less choice in what to do. There was no internet, for example, so we had these long summer days to fill our heads with books.
The island of Formentera
Cria Cuervos and Porque Te Vas
On my new album there’s a very famous Spanish song, which I covered purely for pleasure. Porque Te Vas, which translates as Because You Are Leaving, was originally sung by Jeanette (the British-born singer Janette Anne Dimech), and comes from a Carlos Saura film called Cría Cuervos, which fascinated me as a teenager. It came out in the cinema in 1976, when I was nine or something, but I saw it on television as a teenager with friends. I completely fell in love with the film and the song, which I bought on a 45. The film is about loss and death and the song is a broken love song. She sings about how the sun is shining even though her heart is sad. There’s something about it that’s really sweet and fragile. It’s one of those songs that gets stuck in your head, even if you don’t like it. I listened to it so much that my family would be like: “Please, stop playing Porque Te Vas! We’ve heard it over and over and we’re going to die!” But as a teenager you’re completely addicted and unable to moderate yourself.