Thursday, November 29, 2018

All of Daney

If you've ever tried to find a text by Serge Daney on a specific topic - a film or a director for example -, you'll know how hard it is. You need to get hold of the different books, go through each table of contents and index, and if no success, try your luck at flicking through the pages. Some good news then: Pierre Eugène has created a database of all known Daney articles, and it's available online, with an English language option.

Pierre's PhD thesis (a methodical and insightful re-reading and commentary of Daney's texts from 1962 to 1982) led him to reference all the published texts by Daney, covering obvious sources like Cahiers and Libération (going through each and every edition) but also other sources such as book chapters or cinema booklets. He has created a database with the full list, from Daney's first texts in the magazine he created in 1962 (Visages du cinéma) to his lasts like 'The Tracking Shot in Kapo' or his speech for 'Trafic at the Jeu de Paume', even extending to posthumous publications.

So if you're wondering if Daney ever published something about Chris Marker (he hasn't to my knowledge) or whether he has written about a specific film/director/actor/festival, this tool is a gold mine.

A few things to know when using it:
  • It is the most exhaustive source available by far. Pierre has diligently listed Daney's texts for his PhD, finding many that were omitted in the complete editions by P.O.L. (for example this rare text on Grémillon called "The passeur").
  • The database lists texts published by Daney, including interviews. It does not reference things like notes (for example the ones gathered posthumously in the book The Exercise Was Beneficial, Sir), unpublished texts or Daney's personal diaries. 
  • Pierre has kindly added an English interface and worked with me to list the known English translations. You can select the "Only translated in English" option to search through them. It lists texts fully translated but not extracts.
  • Despite the utter usefulness of it, these things are never absolutely perfect so if you find errors or something missing / not working, please let Pierre know. Two tips: search terms need to be four characters long ("Ozu" won't work) and if you simply click "Search" without any search terms, you will get the full list of the circa 2000 texts (you can then do a "page search" in your browser).

Enjoy. And all credit to Pierre.

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