James Agee, Walker Evans, Sia lode ora a uomini di fama, 2019

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In the summer of 1936, Fortune magazine sends a young writer, James Agee, and a photographer, Walker Evans, to Alabama to work on an article about “the daily life and environment of an average white farm family ttavoli.” These are the last years of the Great Depression, but the stranglehold on cotton farmers shows no sign of loosening. Agee and Evans decide to immerse themselves in that world, to live in farmers’ homes sharing every aspect of their existence, to try to pass on what they witnessed. Soon, however, they must realize that the relationship with such exhausted humanity, the searing closeness to reality, are impossible to return through traditional means of expression. “Unpublishable” is Fortune’s judgment of the collected material: too true and direct, too complex and vast. What was supposed to be a simple investigation has turned into a literary object that eludes any categorization. Novel, essay, passionate and overwrought reportage, Both Praise Now to Men of Fame is above all a poetic illumination, in which vision and language coincide with the most rigorous commitment to the subject matter narrated. Enthusiastically received by critics, the book met with growing fortune, no to elevate Agee among the great singers of America, along with William Faulkner and John Steinbeck. Decades later, Agee and Evans’ journey into the heart of the South remains a seminal work that transcends time and generations: an immense landscape con gure, painted with dust and light, in which the deceptions that consciousness and perception play on the observer are investigated with as ruthless an attention as it is demure and respectful that reserved for the observed: human beings wounded, yet mysteriously s ort by nobility and grace.

James Agee, Walker Evans, Sia lode ora a uomini di fama
Il Saggiatore, 2019
Translation Luca Fontana
Preface Luca Briasco
21.5 x 15 cm
516 pages
ISBN 9788842826231

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