by Cendrars, Blaise (translated and introduced by Garrett White)
Berkeley/Los Angeles/London: University of California Press. Very Good in Near Fine dj. (c.1995). First Edition Thus. Hardcover. 0-520-07807-1 . [a few nicks in paper covering of boards (i.e. slightly exposing the boards) at top and bottom edges of covers, otherwise a nice clean book; jacket shows only a bit of surface wear]. (line drawings) The first English translation of this report on the movie colony as it was in 1936, when the author, on assignment for "Paris-Soir," spent a couple of weeks ensconced in the Roosevelt Hotel, and reported on his observations in a series of articles for his newspaper, which were later expanded and published in book form (originally in French, as "Hollywood, La Mecque du Cinéma"). Although he was a renowned man of letters in France -- a prolific poet, novelist and essayist who was no stranger to filmmaking, having worked as an actor and assistant director for Abel Gance) -- his name meant little, then or now, to an American readership, and although his book was translated into numerous languages, the present book is the first edition in English. "Part diary, part tall tale, [the book] records Cendrars's experiences on the streets of Hollywood, at studio gates, and in the hottest bars and jazz clubs, where he encountered out-of-work drifters, star-crazed sailors, and a vast pool of undiscovered talent. His chance meeting with Douglas Fairbanks, conversation with Paramount's master makeup artist, and ruminations on Los Angeles geography are all recounted in a highly personal, conversational style that anticipates the 'new journalism' of such later writers as Tom Wolfe." (It's interesting to ruminate on how this book -- widely published throughout the non-English-speaking world -- may have colored the perception of "Hollywood" in other cultures.) . (Inventory #: 22181)
Unusual, Uncommon and Obscure Books in many (but not all) fields, with particular interest in American Culture (Popular and Unpopular), Art, Literature, Life and People from the 1920s through the 1960s.
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