Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Serge Daney in 2020

Here's the usual annual round-up on translating Serge Daney in English. 

2020 saw sixteen new translations published on the blog. The one on Gertrud seems to have really resonated with readers. Also worth reading is Daney's scathing review of Kazan's The Visitors. I enjoyed Daney's take on classic films (see texts on Hitchcock or Mizoguchi) or his long article comparing cinema and Television. 

As always, this has been a collaborative effort. Let me thank those who helped: Andy Rector, Srikanth SrinivasanCraig Keller and indirectly Liz Heron (whom I don't know but whose work on an aborted translation project in the 1980s has been helpful this year).

Beside translations, two notable events:

* Bill Krohn published a new book called Letters from Hollywood with a long section on Serge Daney and the 1977 Cahiers week organised (with Daney) at the Bleecker Street Cinema in New York. 

* A bombshell that appeared online earlier this week in an interview with the editors of Semiotext(e) where Hedi El Kholti offhandedly announced:
I think we acquired the first volume of Serge Daney’s collected works, The Cinema House and the World, in 2013. It went through a few translators, who started the project but felt overwhelmed by the scope and commitment and gave up. It’s finally coming out next year, or in early 2022.  

A million questions popped in my puzzled head immediately and I have tried to make contact with them to find more. Has there really been a secret translation project running for the past seven years? Are they actually translating the four volumes of La maison cinéma et le monde (that would be a bold move with over 2,500 pages but also a strange choice as Daney's own books are not included in these editions)? I've learned to be cautious with announcements of upcoming books of translations when it comes to Daney but I will share any news I receive on the blog. Very exciting.

In the meantime, let me wish you the best and let's hope we all come out of the pandemic safely in 2021. Here's to parties, meeting more people, live performances, actual cinemas, music concerts and festivals!