The Movies in the Age of Innocence – By Edward Wagenknecht (1962) PDF download


The Movies in the Age of Innocence – By Edward Wagenknecht (1962) PDF download

Of Film and I, and How This Book Unwittingly Got Itself Started

I remember once seeing a book described as the work of a good scholar on holiday. Whether I am a good scholar or not must be left for others to judge, but I have certainly written what are generally called scholarly books, and I have surely enjoyed a delightful holiday working on this one, especially during the period which I devoted to reviewing old films and coming about as close as possible to living my life over again. I do not of course mean that I have wrought carelessly. This book will appear in my literary chronology between a study of Washington Irving and a study of Edgar Allan Poe, and I think the confrontations involved quite delightful. Many of the same techniques which I applied in writing my histories of the English and American novel are used again here. Yet there is a difference between reading manuscripts at the Houghton and Morgan libraries and watching films at George Eastman House and the Museum of Modern Art Film Library, and somehow one turns over the files of Photoplay Magazine and The Moving Picture World in a different spirit from that in which one searches out articles in PMLA and Modem Philology, This volume is not a definitive history of the silent film. I once cherished the hope of writing such a history, and this book was conceived as a preliminary study for it. Now I do not quite see how anybody could ever produce such a history. Most of the requisite material is unavailable, and if it were here it would be quite too overwhelming to get through. (Edward Wagenknecht)

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The movies in the age of innocence

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