Description : At the time of his death in 1998, Alfred Kazin was considered one of the most influential intellectuals of postwar America. What is less well known is that Kazin had been contributing almost daily to an extensive private journal, which arguably contains some of his best writing. These journals collectively tell the story of his journey from Brooklyn's Brownsville neighborhood to his position as a dominant figure in twentieth-century cultural life. To Kazin, the daily entry was a psychological and spiritual act. To read through these entries is to reexperience history as a series of daily discoveries by an alert, adventurous, if often mercurial intelligence. It is also to encounter an array of interesting and notable personalities. Sketches of friends, mistresses, family figures, and other intellectuals are woven in with commentary on Kazin's childhood, early religious interests, problems with parents, bouts of loneliness, dealings with publishers, and thoughts on the Holocaust. The journals also highlight his engagement with the political and cultural debates of the decades through which he lived. He wrestles with communism, cultural nationalism, liberalism, existentialism, Israel, modernism, and much more. Judiciously selected and edited by acclaimed Kazin biographer Richard Cook, this collection provides the public with access to these previously unavailable writings and, in doing so, offers a fascinating social, historical, literary, and cultural record.
Description : This book examines different affinities between major classical authors and great filmmakers alongside representations of ancient myth and history in popular cinema.
Description : World War II coincided with cinema's golden age. Movies now considered classics were created at a time when all sides in the war were coming to realize the great power of popular films to motivate the masses. Through multinational research, One World,
Description : Alfred Kazin, one of the central figures of America’s intellectual life in the 20th century, takes us into his own life and times. His autobiography encompasses, within a single large, fluent narrative, a personal story openly told; an inside look at New York’s innermost intellectual circles; and brilliantly astute observations of the literary accomplishments, atmosphere, and fads of the 1940’s, ’50’s, and ’60’s in the context of America’s shifting political gales. Kazin begins his story in 1940, where we see him first as a young man working for The New Republic, then for Fortune in the time of James Agee. We see him in wartime London; as traveler, after the war, in Italy, Germany, Russia and Israel. We see him as teacher and scholar; as husband and lover; as a writer of profoundly influential critical works; as both observer of and participant in the cultural history of his time. Marvelous scenes of close-up encounters with literary figures abound. The young Kazin, “summoned” to discuss his just-published first book, pays his first visit to the great Edmund Wilson (he was “merely impatient with my book”) and his wife (“she went into my faults with great care…she looked beautiful in the increasing crispness of her analysis”) Mary McCarthy. We see Lionel Trilling (“for Trilling I would always be ‘too Jewish’”); Saul Bellow, soon after Augie March, already projecting a “sense of destiny as a novelist that excited everyone around him”; Sylvia Plath as a student of Kazin’s at Smith. Kazin shares the particular joy of being in the company of Hannah Arendt—Hannah at work, “brimming over with enthusiasm for the New World,” and in the Morningside Drive apartment where she and her husband, Heinrich Bluecher, lived “thought dominated” lives, and were magnets for young writers. We see old and young contemporaries—Robert Frost, Paul Goodman, T. S. Eliot, and others—freely expressing (and being) themselves. Every image and incident is filtered through Kazin’s own strong sensibility—powerfully informed by his Russian immigrant-socialist background, by the resurgent sense of his own Jewishness, and by the “raw power, mass, and volume” of the city he is unfailingly drawn to. New York is itself a central character in his book as in his life—a life superbly told, in a book that will be of fascination to everyone interested in American writing and writers.
Description : Over the course of sixty years, Alfred Kazin's writings confronted virtually all of our major imaginative writers, from Emerson to Emily Dickinson to James Wright and Joyce Carol Oates -- including such unexpected figures as Lincoln, William James, and Thorstein Veblen. This son of Russian Jews wrote out of the tensions of the outsider and the astute, outspoken leftist -- or, as he put it, "the bitter patriotism of loving what one knows." Editor Ted Solotaroff hasselected material from Kazin's three classic memoirs to accompany his critical writings. Alfred Kazin's America provides an ongoing example of the spiritual freedom, individualism, and democratic contentiousness that he regarded as his heritage and endeavored to pass on.
Description : Impossible Presence brings together new work in film studies, critical theory, art history, and anthropology for a multifaceted exploration of the continuing proliferation of visual images in the modern era. It also asks what this proliferation—and the changing technologies that support it—mean for the ways in which images are read today and how they communicate with viewers and spectators. Framed by Terry Smith's introduction, the essays focus on two kinds of strangeness involved in experiencing visual images in the modern era. The first, explored in the book's first half, involves the appearance of oddities or phantasmagoria in early photographs and cinema. The second type of strangeness involves art from marginalized groups and indigenous peoples, and the communicative formations that result from the trafficking of images between people from vastly different cultures. With a stellar list of contributors, Impossible Presence offers a wide-ranging look at the fate of the visual image in modernity, modern art, and popular culture. Contributors: Jean Baudrillard Marshall Berman Jeremy Gilbert-Rolfe Elizabeth Grosz Tom Gunning Peter Hutchings Fred R. Myers Javier Sanjines Richard Shiff Hugh J. Silverman Terry Smith
Description : The nation didn't know it, but 1960 would change American film forever, and the revolution would occur nowhere near a Hollywood set. With the opening of the New Yorker Theater, a cinema located at the heart of Manhattan's Upper West Side, cutting-edge films from around the world were screened for an eager audience, including the city's most influential producers, directors, critics, and writers. Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese, Susan Sontag, Andrew Sarris, and Pauline Kael, among many others, would make the New Yorker their home, trusting in the owners' impeccable taste and incorporating much of what they viewed into their work. In this irresistible memoir, Toby Talbot, co-owner and proud "matron" of the New Yorker Theater, reveals the story behind Manhattan's wild and wonderful affair with art-house film. With her husband Dan, Talbot showcased a range of eclectic films, introducing French New Wave and New German cinema, along with other groundbreaking genres and styles. As Vietnam protests and the struggle for civil rights raged outside, the Talbots also took the lead in distributing political films, such as Bernard Bertolucci's Before the Revolution, and documentaries, such as Shoah and Point of Order. Talbot enhances her stories with selections from the New Yorker's essential archives, including program notes by Jack Kerouac, Jules Feiffer, Peter Bogdanovich, Jonas Mekas, Jack Gelber, and Harold Humes. These artifacts testify to the deeply engaged and collaborative spirit behind each showing, and they illuminate the myriad and often entertaining aspects of theater operation. All in all, Talbot's tales capture the highs and lows of a thrilling era in filmmaking.
Description : A deft blend of autobiography, history, and criticism, Writing Was Everything emerges as a reaffirmation of literature in an age of deconstruction and critical dogma. It stands as clear testimony to Kazin's belief that "literature is not theory but, at best, the value we can give to our experience, which in our century has been and remains beyond the imagination of mankind."
Description : Winner of the National Book Award: The definitive history of Joe McCarthy, the Hollywood blacklist, and HUAC explores the events behind the hit film Trumbo. Drawing on interviews with over one hundred and fifty people who were called to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee—including Elia Kazan, Ring Lardner Jr., and Arthur Miller—award-winning author Victor S. Navasky reveals how and why the blacklists were so effective and delves into the tragic and far-reaching consequences of Joseph McCarthy’s witch hunts. A compassionate, insightful, and even-handed examination of one of our country’s darkest hours, Naming Names is at once a morality play and a fascinating window onto a searing moment in American cultural and political history.
Description : Born in 1915 to barely literate Jewish immigrants in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, Alfred Kazin rose from near poverty to become a dominant figure in twentieth-century literary criticism and one of Americas last great men of letters. Biographer Ri