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30 Apr 2014

Jan Švankmajer: Touching and Imaging

Jan Švankmajer’s remarkable book on tactile art is now available for the first time in English. Best known for his extraordinary animated films (Alice, Faust, Little Otik), Švankmajer wrote and self-published the book in 1983 when he stopped directing films after censorship by the Czechoslovakian government. Published by I. B. Tauris Publishers on 30 April 2014. Czech Centre fans can enjoy 30% discount using the code TACTILE at check-out.

Erudite and totally unique, Touching and Imagining chronicles Švankmajer's intensive experimentation with tactile phenomena and how despite total political isolation artists are capable of finding a voice.

As Švankmajer explains from his new introduction for the book:
'...so much for the idea that totalitarian systems and censorship act as a brake on original creativity. In a sense they act in exactly the opposite way. To overcome difficulties and to get around prohibitions whips up defiance and subversion, which is inherent in all creativity worth that name; it achieves fine nuances.'

“It is typically Švankmajer: erudite and very consequential. Sometimes also very funny and erotic. Totally unique and a brilliant example of how Czech intellectuals and artists were capable, despite total isolation and censorship under communism, of discovering cosmopolitan islands of knowledge where you would least expect them.”
MICHAEL HAVAS, Czech documentary film producer/director 

Born on 4 September 1934 in Prague, Jan Švankmajer is best known for his extraordinary animated films, Alice, Faust, Little Otik among them. His creative diversity, however, exceeds the limits of film and whether film, visual or literary, is connected with the collective activities of the Goup of Czech and Slovak Surrealists.

Stanley Dalby (translator) emigrated from Czechoslovakia to Australia in 1949. Over 32 years as a writer/director, he made films for various government ministries, as well as documentaries in India, Nepal, Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Islands. He now lives in Sydney and translates drama and fiction from Czech to English.

Cathryn Vasseleu (editor) teaches animation at the University of Technology, Sydney. She is the author of Textures of Light: Vision and Touch in Irigaray, Levinas and Merleau-Ponty (1998) and is a writer/director of experimental animated films including De Anima (1991). 

by Jan Švankmajer 
Translated by Stephen Dalby with an introduction by Cathryn Vasseleu

Hardback: £58
Paperback: £16.99
both available from http://www.ibtauris.com/jansvankmajer 
Czech Centre fans can enjoy 30% discount using the code TACTILE at check-out.


More info at http://theibtaurisblog.com/2014/01/15/touching-and-imagination/





30 Apr 2014


I.B.Tauris Publishers

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