Fassbinder Thousands of Mirrors by Ian Penman / ISBN 9781635901887 / 195-page paperback published in 2023 by semiotext(e)
A kaleidoscopic study of Rainer Werner Fassbinder.
Melodrama, biography, cold war thriller, drug memoir, essay in fragments, and mystery, Thousands of Mirrors is cult critic Ian Penman’s long-awaited first full-length book: a kaleidoscopic study of Rainer Werner Fassbinder. Written over a short period "in the spirit" of RWF, who would often get films made in a matter of weeks or months, Thousands of Mirrors presents the filmmaker as Penman’s equivalent of what Baudelaire was to Benjamin: an urban poet in the turbulent, seeds-sown, messy era just before everything changed. Beautifully written and extraordinarily compelling, echoing the fragmentary works of Roland Barthes and Emil Cioran, Eduardo Galeano and Alexander Kluge, this story has everything: sex, drugs, art, the city, cinema, and revolution.
“Ian Penman is an ideal critic, one who invites you in, takes your coat, and hands you a drink as he sidles up to his topic. He has a modest mien, a feathery way with a sentence, a century’s worth of adroit cultural connections at the ready, and a great well of genuine passion, which quickly raises the temperature.” —Lucy Sante, author of The Other Paris
“Ian Penman—critic, essayist, mystical hack, and charmer of sentences like they’re snakes—is the writer I have hardly gone a week without reading, reciting, summoning to mind. The writer without whom, etc.” —Brian Dillon, author of Affinities