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My Year 2010: Shadows

Douglas Messerli

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Douglas Messerli
My Year 2010: Shadows
Series No.: 265
ISBN: 978-1-55713-432-5, Pages: 528
American Literature, Memoir

Buy the My Year series (14 books)


In Douglas Messerli's 11th volume of his ongoing cultural memoirs, which began with the turn of the 21st century in 2000, the author contextualizes events of the year as having fallen into the shadows. Messerli had hoped for a sunnier volume representing, perhaps, a reality more similar to the belle époque of the previous century as opposed to a year mired in political turmoil and financial difficulties that he found. Many filmmakers, dramatists, and authors, Messerli noted, turned to the past wherein they found similar dilemmas, worlds that seemed as if they should be cloaked in golden possibilities, but where, instead, its citizens lived in the shadows of fear and even terror. If there seemed to be a glow it the sky, it emanated not from the sun but from the banks of gathering fires such as those the wide-eyed young Tootie discerned on Halloween night in the turn-of-the-century-based American musical film Meet Me in St. Louis, or from the dangerous outbursts of flame threatening the citizens of Max Frisch's small town in The Firebugs. Even the gods were consumed by fire in a new Los Angeles production of The Ring Cycle, while total human extermination faced the pre-Flood folks of Karl O. Knausgaard's Biblically-inspired fiction A Time for Everything. Bombs threatened the lives of everyone in The Hurt Locker, and "vast political, psychological, and sexual dilemmas loomed over the glorious Spanish court" of Verdi's Don Carlo. The returning soldiers of Stein's Brewsie and Willie, reinterpreted in a moving new drama performed in a Los Angeles highrise, feared for their futures upon returning to the US after their experiences in Europe in World War II. Even the blessed golden-haired baseball hero, Mickey Mantle, faced his last years with the recognition of his years of neglect of both his family and his own personal health. While so much pointed in the direction of joy and pleasure, life in 2010 was revealed to be a much darker affair.

Even the author's memories of life in his home city of Los Angeles, while bringing to light some of his pleasures, awards, and celebrations in that golden paradise, revealed also a series of riots, earthquakes, and mistaken choices.

Editor of Sun & Moon Press and, currently, Green Integer, Messerli was named Officier de l'ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government and was awarded The American Book Award and ALTA Award for his publishing. His My Year volumes have been praised by critics and fellow writers throughout the world for their lively recreation of the culture of the 20th and 21st centuries. Messerli has now completed these volumes through 2015, and is currently working on the 2016 collection.

Also by Douglas Messerli:
After [Sun & Moon], $9.95
Bow Down, $9.95
Dark, $9.95
Dinner on the Lawn [Sun & Moon], $14.95
First Words, $9.95
Maxims from My Mother's Milk / Hymns to Him: A Dialogue [Sun & Moon], Out of Stock
Maxims from My Mother's Milk / Hymns to Him: A Dialogue (hardcover) [Sun & Moon], $19.95
My Year 2000: Leaving Something Behind, $17.95
My Year 2001: Keeping History a Secret, $17.95
My Year 2002: Love, Death, and Transfiguration, $9.95
My Year 2003: Voice Without a Voice, $9.95
My Year 2004: Under Our Skin, $9.95
My Year 2005: Terrifying Times, $9.95
My Year 2006: Serving, $9.95
My Year 2007: To the Dogs, $9.95
My Year 2008: In the Gap, $9.95
My Year 2009: Facing the Heat, $9.95
My Year 2011: No One's Home , $9.95
My Year 2012: Centers Collapse, $17.95
My Year 2013: Murderers and Angels, $17.95
On Marriage: The Imagination of Being, $9.95
Reading Films: My International Cinema, Digital Only
River to Rivet: A Manifesto [Sun & Moon], $14.95
Silence All Round Marked: An Historical Play in Hysteria Writ [Sun & Moon], $9.95
Some Distance, Out of Stock
Stay, $9.95
The Walls Come True: An Opera for Spoken Voices (The Structure of Destruction, Part II) [Sun & Moon], $14.95

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