"Enthusiasm is a terrific quality. The more I think about happiness, the more I value enthusiasm. It can seem cooler and smarter to be ironic, detached, or critical, and it’s certainly much easier and safer to adopt that sort of stance. But enthusiasm is more fun. Enthusiasm is generous, positive, energetic, and social. It’s outward-turning and engaged. It’s unselfconscious, warm-hearted, and kind of goofy..."
"He didn't like artifice or pretension. Even when it made his process more difficult, he insisted on the real thing. If we were photographing a hand holding a pizza, it had to be the pizza maker's hand. Once when Penn was doing a portrait, the famous subject went on at length about his accomplishments and current work and future plans. Penn listened patiently, and finally, after a very long pause, he quietly said, 'It sounds like you are trying to impress me.'"
Quotes (title and above)
from "Seeing the Light,"
by Phyllis Posnick
Photo by Penn of Simone de Beauvoir