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Sergei Eisenstein.

Edited and widely commented by Oksana Bulgakowa & Dietmar Hochmuth · Translated by Dustin Condren.


What do the movement of a chicken and the development of a plot in a melodrama, in Manet’s and Zola’s style have in common – or the way a spider sees the world, Goethe's interpretation of the gestures in Leonardo's supper and Balzac’s fondness for secret societies, the bisexuality of the gods and the misogyny of master detectives, the film montage, the family of the worms and the Osiris myth, and how the metonymic situation in Shakespeare differs from the metaphorical one at Chesterton?

In his search for the primal phenomenon art, Sergei Eisenstein moves from the circus to Bach and Shostakovich, from there to Fântomas, Sherlock Holmes and Ellery Queen, sees in Mark Twain a double of Dostoevsky and his own double in Ben Jonson, investigates rhythm, actor’s movements, composition in painting, the language of the objects in Swift and the concrete thinking of Tolstoy, and writes about his fiasco in Hollywood.

Eisenstein analyzes almost all the arts – music, the theater of the Elizabethans and Meyerhold, the paintings of Leonardo, Manet and Max Ernst, French and Japanese erotic caricatures, the novels of Balzac, Zola, Dostoyevsky. Dreiser, D. H.Lawrence, Conan Doyle, Steinbeck, Ellery Queen, and his own films. He quotes psychologists, anthropologists, psychoanalysts, linguists, folklorists, art historians and zoologists. In order to discover the primordial phenomenon of art and to understand the secret of the film form.

[ 344 pages · numerous illustrations · large register · ISBN 978-3-943190-13-7 for Softcover | 978-3-943190-12-0 for Hardcover | for German edition, please go here... ]