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FILM AND VIDEO DIRECTORS

PUBLISHER
Spector Books

BOOK FORMAT
Paperback, 5.5 x 8.5 in. / 480 pgs / 37 bw.

PUBLISHING STATUS
Pub Date
Active

DISTRIBUTION
D.A.P. Exclusive
Catalog: FALL 2017 p. 71   

PRODUCT DETAILS
ISBN 9783959051460 TRADE
List Price: $25.00 CAD $34.50

AVAILABILITY
In stock

TERRITORY
NA LA AFR ME

"Jonas Mekas' diaries have an aching honesty, puckish humor and quiet nobility of character. Many readers curious about the early years of this seminal avant-garde filmmaker will discover here a much more universal story: that of the emigrant who can never go back, and whose solitariness in the New World is emblematic of the human condition. I particularly liked the sections set in New York City, which convey the rapture and loneliness of a young man who has just escaped the worst nightmare of the 20th century, only to discover the lesson of what Freud called 'ordinary unhappiness' in the great metropolis. This is a lyrical, essential spiritual anthropology." -Phillip Lopate

"I was enormously moved by it." -Allen Ginsberg

BOOKSELLER TRADE ANNOTATION

Now in his 90s, Jonas Mekas -- filmmaker, writer, and poet -- collaborated with Salvador Dali, Allen Ginsberg, Andy Warhol and Nico. This book is a reprint of his memoir of his early years, chronicling his experiences in a Nazi camp through to his first years as a young immigrant in New York City
  • ABOUT THE ARTIST: Jonas Mekas (b. 1922, Lithuania) is the quintessential New York downtown artist. Often called the Godfather of American avant-garde cinema, he co-founded of the Anthology Film Archives, the premiere repository of avant-garde film. He continues to make film diaries well into his nineties, and grows more and more famous with his age.
  • ABOUT THE BOOK: A REPRINT of the 1991, Black Thistle Press Edition. Coming off the recent success of Mekas' Scrapbook of the Sixties (2015), this reprint will be a welcome addition to the biography table at independent bookstores. This book - Mekas's memoir -tells the story of his early life, before he became the Jonas Mekas who we now revere. This is a first hand account of the life of Jonas Mekas as a Displaced Person: it chronicles his experiences in a Nazi Forced Labor camp; five years in Displaced Persons camps; and his first years as a young Lithuanian immigrant in New York City. The memoir was developed into a documentary by artist Douglas Gordon in 2016.
  • PROMOTION: Jonas Mekas is invited at the documenta 14 in Athens 04/06/2017 and in Kassel 06/09/2017. Mekas is revered and is available to do events in the US and had a very successful book launch of the Scrapbook of the Sixties at McNally Jackson in NY.

  

SPECTOR BOOKS

I Had Nowhere to Go

By Jonas Mekas.

I Had Nowhere to Go

"Jonas Mekas' diaries have an aching honesty, puckish humor and quiet nobility of character. Many readers curious about the early years of this seminal avant-garde filmmaker will discover here a much more universal story: that of the emigrant who can never go back, and whose solitariness in the New World is emblematic of the human condition." -Phillip Lopate"I was enormously moved by it." -Allen Ginsberg

Legendary filmmaker Jonas Mekas actually came to filmmaking relatively late in life, and his path to New York was a difficult one. In 1944, Mekas and his younger brother Adolfas had to flee Lithuania. They were interned for eight months in a labor camp in Elmshorn. Even after the war ended, Mekas was prevented from returning to his native Lithuania by the Soviet occupation. Classed as a “displaced person,” he lived in DP camps in Wiesbaden and Kassel for years. It was only at the end of 1949 that Jonas and Aldolfas Mekas finally found their way to New York City.

A new edition of Mekas’ acclaimed memoir, first published by Black Thistle Press in 1991, I Had Nowhere to Go tells the story of the artist’s survival in the camps and his first years as a young Lithuanian immigrant in New York City. Mekas’ memoir—the inspiration for a 2016 biopic by Douglas Gordon—tells the story of how an individual life can move through the larger 20th-century narratives of war and exile and tentatively put down new roots. In the words of Phillip Lopate, “This is a lyrical, essential spiritual anthropology.”

Jonas Mekas (born 1922) lives and works in New York. Filmmaker, writer and poet, he is a cofounder of Anthology Film Archives, one of the world’s largest and most important repositories of avant-garde film. An influential figure in New American Cinema and New York underground culture, he worked with Andy Warhol, George Maciunas, John Lennon and many others. Mekas’ work has been exhibited in museums and festivals worldwide.


Photograph of Jonas Mekas, overlooking Mattenberg displaced persons camp, is reproduced from 'I Had Nowhere to Go."

PRAISE AND REVIEWS

The Paris Review

Nicole Rudick

In the years of the diary, 1944 to 1955, as Mekas navigates postwar Europe and the immigrant landscape of midcentury New York, uncertainty was the only constant . . . Mekas is homesick and depressed but is, as he is throughout the diary, tenacious about living one day to the next.

I Had Nowhere to Go

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FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 1/24/2019

We will miss Jonas Mekas, artist, filmmaker and champion of avant-garde cinema

We will miss Jonas Mekas, artist, filmmaker and champion of avant-garde cinema

Featured image, of Jonas Mekas—the legendary independent filmmaker, poet, artist and inspiration to avant-garde cinephiles the world over—was made in April, 1946, while Mekas was living in a German displaced persons camp en route between his native Lithuania, which he fled in 1944, and his future home of New York City, where he died on January 23, 2019, at the age of 96. It is reproduced from Spector Books' essential memoir, I Had Nowhere to Go, in which Mekas details his lonely, yet heroic and searching early years through the mid-1950s. In a 1953 entry, Mekas writes, "They say, do not lose the road for the small path… It depends where the road is leading to. It depends where one wants to go. There are places which you can reach only through tiny paths. Only the dictators, armies, generals, and people without imagination prefer wide, 'strong' roads. Little paths take you to the gentle meadows, brooks, flowers, cool shadows. I wouldn't like to miss any interesting side paths, patches of greenery. Because, at the end, at the end of the Big Road, there may be nothing but a burned out city… pestilence…" continue to blog


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