by SERGEI EISENSTEIN
2013, Berlin & San Francisco, Potemkin Press
Eisenstein's essay on Walt Disney was part of his unfinished book METHOD, a study of the relationship between archaic thought and art practice. Disney functions as an ideal subject for Eisenstein’s aesthetic analysis, because in his early work perfect visual rhythms and synesthetic affects of sound and color unite with animism, totemism and the plasmatic qualities of form.
Circus, ornament, cave paintings, Leonardo da Vinci, Wilhelm Busch, Utagawa Toyohiro, Saul Steinberg, Shakespeare, Balzac, Dostoevsky, Napoleon, Gorky, La Fontaine, Lautréamont, Hegel, Darwin, Freud, Ferensci, Fourier and… Disney. No one but Eisenstein had ever attempted to place Mickey Mouse’s creator within such an opulent context of high culture.
On the new translation: "...Many passages of Dustin Condren's new translation more fully convey the complexities of Eisenstein's occasionally gnarled prose." —Stuart Liebman, Cineaste, Winter 2013