Winter 1953 • Vol. XV No. 1 Book Reviews |

The Film Artist as Prometheus and Pantaloon

Sergei M. Eisenstein: A Biography by Marie Seton. A. A. Wyn, Inc. $8.50. The tragic social experience of the artist throughout history is a subject with a certain mythological remoteness, which our modern age ascribes largely to the dead past. Even enlightened opinion is inclined to regard Oscar Wilde's embarrassment and punishment as the virtually deserved nemesis of an egocentric who was, above all, indiscreet. Yet I believe that the powerful irony of Wilde's success as a show-off in relation to his disaster as an exhibitionist has never been adequately considered. Then, Rimbaud's radical case of the individual's repudiation of family and middle-class respectability, despite the efforts of human wisdom to discover virtues in it, has had to be generally rejected, even among the most cultivated and intelligent, as of an extreme romanticism that, anyway, secreted an early destruction of the artistic identity. Now what of the case of Sergei M. Eisenstein? First, the isolation of the m

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