Preorder The Sky is Falling (Lorenza Mazzetti), published, and My Cinema (Marguerite Duras), due end 2023
First published in 1961, Lorenza Mazzetti’s The Sky is Falling (Il cielo cade) is an impressionistic, idiosyncratic, and uniquely funny look at the writer’s childhood after she and her sister are sent to live with their Jewish relatives following the death of their parents. Bright and bucolic, vivid and mournful, and brimming with saints, martyrdom, ideals, wrong-doing and self-imposed torments, the novel describes the loss of innocence and family under the Fascist regime in Italy during World War II through the eyes of Mazzetti’s fictional alter ego, Penny, in sharp, witty (and sometimes petulant) prose.
First translated into English as The Sky Falls by Marguerite Waldman in 1962, with several pages missing due to censorship, the novel has been out of print in the anglophone world for many years. We are proud to reissue the text in a beautiful new translation by Livia Franchini that carries over the playfulness and perverse naivete of the original Italian.
My Cinema is an extensive collection of writings by and interviews with Marguerite Duras about her cinematic oeuvre.
Working chronologically through her nineteen films made between 1966 and 1985, this 400-page volume includes non-standard press releases, notes to her actors, letters to funders, short essays on themes as provocatively capacious as "mothers" and "witches", as well as some of the most significant and substantial interviews she gave about her cinematographic and writing practice (with filmmakers and critics including Jacques Rivette, Caroline Champetier and Jean Narboni).
In Duras's hands all these forms turn into a strange, gnomic literature in which the boundary between word and image becomes increasingly blurred and the paradox of creating a cinema that seeks "to destroy the cinema" finds its most potent expression.
Yet Duras's biggest preoccupations are global. With the audiovisual as a starting point, her encyclopaedic associative powers bring readers into confrontation with subjects as diverse as the French Communist Party, hippies, Jews, revolutionary love, madness and freedom across three decades of an oeuvre that is always in simultaneous dialogue with the contemporary moment and world history.
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