Friday, January 22, 2021

Translation news: The Cinema House and the World

[UPDATE 1 MARCH 2021: the book page is live on the publisher site]

Semiotext(e), an independent American publisher, have announced the publication of an English translation of the volume 1 of La maison cinéma et le monde for 2022.  

Hedi El Kholti from Semiotext(e) kindly confirmed in an interview and in an email that: 

  • They have acquired the translation rights back in 2013.
  • After a couple of translators dropped out, Christine Pichini, who translated Hervé Guibert and Michel Leiris for them, is "almost done" with the translation.
  • Hedi refers to The Cinema House and the World as a possible translated title.
  • Target publication date is Spring 2022. 
As a reminder, Daney published only four books in his lifetime, all collections of his articles. A few books have been published posthumously in France (an unfinished book project, one containing his film notes, and one his reviews of tennis matches). And in 2001, P.O.L. embarked on publishing most of Daney's remaining texts in four thick volumes (2,500 pages in total). 

The volume 1 of La maison cinéma et le monde covers "The time of Cahiers 1962-1981": from Daney's first articles in Visages du cinéma - the magazine he created as a young film critic - to most of his production for Cahiers du cinéma and several other articles written for the daily newspaper Libération and other outlets.  

What to expect? about 200 articles by Daney, including film reviews, pieces on film directors, festival reports, many essays on film and television as well texts on tennis. Fewer "political" writings than you might expect (POL didn't include the anonymous collective texts written during Cahiers' cultural revolutionary front that Daney may have contributed to) and none of the texts that Daney had already chosen to include in La rampe, his book covering roughly the same period (1970-82).

Here is the table of contents from the French edition (with my translation of the P.O.L. section titles and links to existing translations):

Preface (Patrice Rollet)

Interview with Bill Krohn in 1977 (available in Bill Krohn's latest book

1. The Flow of Films

Many film reviews mostly for Visages du cinéma and Cahiers. The longest section by far, half of the book. 

2. Politique des auteurs
3. The Critical Function    

The most theoretical text of the volume published from mid-70s CahiersPart 1,3 and 4 translated here.

4. In Focus

 Essays on various topics triggered by films and TV broadcasts. 

5. The Test of the Image 

Short texts on images. One for Kino Slang who has already selected one: The Dog and the Rope (Hitchcock).
6. Here and Elsewhere

Various festival reports, including Daney's famous trip to Hong Kong and China in 1980.

7. The Chronicle of Answering Machines

A five-part essay on television written for Cahiers in 1976.

8. Close to the Net

Four texts on tennis matches, one of Daney's other passions. I assume these are the remaining texts not published L'Amateur de tennis (POL, 1994).
There is a long wait until 2022. 

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