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Maya Deren and the American Avant-Garde Paperback – October 1, 2001


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 333 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press; First Edition, Includes the complete text of An Anagram of Ideas on Art, Form, a edition (October 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520227328
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520227323
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,979,930 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

"Finally, after all these years, a book from a major American academic press about a major figure from the American film avant-garde! Leave it to Bill Nichols, whose books on documentary have been a major service to the field of independent cinema, to offer us not only a new set of readings of Maya Deren by Annette Michelson, Maureen Turim, Lucy Fischer, Jane Brakhage Wodening, and others but also to retrieve from obscurity Deren's own Anagram of Ideas on Art, Form and Film. It's about time!"—Scott MacDonald, author of "The Garden in the Machine: A Field Guide to Independent Films About Place"

"If you thought Maya Deren equals Meshes of the Afternoon, this volume demands you junk that reductionist view to join a more expansive, significant exhumation of her legacy deploying an exhilarating multiplicity of methodologies and concerns. This wide-ranging, virtuoso volume torques the myths and legends clouding Deren to restore her as a major force in oppositional American film culture, on par with Vertov, Eisenstein, and Godard."—Patricia R. Zimmerman, author of States of Emergency: Documentaries, Wars, Democracies

About the Author

Bill Nichols holds the Fanny Knapp Allen Chair of Fine Arts and is Professor of Art and Art History at the University of Rochester where he teaches in the Visual and Cultural Studies doctoral program. He is the author of Blurred Boundaries (1994), Representing Reality (1991), Movies and Methods (California, 1976 and 1985), and Ideology and the Image (1981).

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By a on March 3, 2011
Format: Paperback
Amazingly, this is the first major collection of critical essays on Deren's work in years. It is not easy-going. I would never assign it in an intro class or for an overview.

Watch Martina Kudlacek's brilliant and engaging documentary "The Mirror of Maya Deren" from 2003 (get it on netflix) for a great simple overview of her career. Then look at the first two chapters of P. Adams Sitney's "Visionary Film" (multiple editions - get the cheapest used) for a more sophisticated reading of her major works. If you're still wanting to go further after that, this book offers a range of dense analyses of different aspects of her career, from ethnographic perspectives to her problematic relation with Feminism, to her idea of avant-garde vs. hollywood film, and so forth.
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2 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Pumukau on February 18, 2008
Format: Paperback
Unless you really need to impress a hippie boomer professor with Avant-Garde verbal overkill I would urge you to just take Deren's films at face value and make your own, rather than wading through her dreary overwrought prose.
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