The Seen

San Francisco: Pasteurize Press / Zephyrus Image, 1975. First Edition. An offprint of Brakhage's remarks following a screening of his film, "The Text of Light," at the San Francisco Art Institute, Nov 18, 1974.

A variant of the first edition described in the Zephyrus Image bibliography by Alastair Johnston, this copy without the inner printed Mylar wrapper and printed envelope. Probably the rarest Brakhage item extant, and an extraordinary example, given nature of the fragile wrapper. Not in OCLC.

Johnston’s entry for this title notes "After the film screened at Canyon Cinematheque in 1975, Holbrook Teter of Zephyrus Image decided to publish a transcript of Brakhage's accompanying talk. Teter said: 'Stan Brakhage showed a movie of light refracted in a glass ashtray. You couldn't tell it was an ashtray. The whole movie was just the shifting light in the ashtray for a very lengthy time. After he showed the movie he talked about his own life and development as an artist and what he had to say was so turned on, so accurate and beautiful. Somebody had taped it so we transcribed it and put out the book.'”

"Teter originally proposed the title "Seeing is Believing" which Brakhage rejected as having religious connotations and 'then anyway my concern is to pry words such as 'seeing' FREE from those traditional associations of it which would limit a person.'"

"Upon reviewing the tape to proof-read his first galley, Teter found that the Cinematheque transcriber had edited rather wildly, leaving out chunks and had even interpolated parts from another Brakhage speech at the University of California Berkeley's Pacific Film Archive. Teter re-transcribed the speech, and "The Seen" first appeared in print in late 1975."

Brakhage was thrilled, and wrote in a letter to Teter, "Bless you for this beauty," and said that of all the books that had been inspired from his films, that Teter's was "easily the most beautiful of all." The Criterion Collection released a collection of 26 key works by Brakhage, titled "By Brakhage," in 2003, allowing frame-by-frame digital examination of his work for the first time. In 2010, Criterion released a second volume, curated by his wife, with an additional 30 films.

Fine in saddle-stitched, reflective wrappers.


[Book #104362]

Price: $1,500.00