Poet and Publisher
Robert Frost. This lovely color film from 1961 was shot over the course of a year, mostly in the region of Robert Frost’s solitary mountain cabin in Vermont. Probably the most celebrated American poet of the twentieth Century, Frost in his mid eighties is seen in three seasons walking the landscape while he is heard reading from about twenty-five of his poems inspired by what is shown. We hear all or part of “October,” “The Sound of Trees,” “Unharvested,” “Birches,” “The Road Not Taken,” “Gathering Leaves,” “Flower-Gathering,” “Good-Bye and Keep Cold,” “The Onset,” “Two Tramps in Mud Time,” “Mending Wall,” and “The Pasture,” among others. In one sequence Mr. Frost is seen in a college seminar answering questions from students. The nature photography of New England is outstanding, as is the quality of this print, mastered in high definition from the original negative.
A Publisher is Known by the Company He Keeps. Alfred A. Knopf and his wife Blanche founded the publishing house bearing his name in 1915. He claimed that he never published an unworthy book, and the Knopf catalog includes 17 winners of the Nobel Prize for Literature and 47 Pulitzer Prize winners. Knopf (1892-1984) maintained a close personal friendship with many of his authors, and in 1926 he bought a Bell & Howell 16mm camera and began to film them. These home movies form the heart of A Publisher is Known by the Company He Keeps, along with scenes of Knopf in 1960 at his home in Purchase, New York. With a warm and personal narration spoken by Mr. Knopf, we see footage and hear his comments about Knopf authors including Thomas Mann, Willa Cather, H. L. Mencken, Max Beerbohm, Sigrid Undset, Walter de la Mare, Rebecca West, Kahlil Gibraan, Eleanor Wylie, Emma Goldman and other literary notables of Knopf’s generation. This edition is digitally mastered from the original negative. (As it enters its second century, the Knopf imprint, together with Random House, Doubleday and Penguin, is owned by Bertelsmann A.G. and Pearson Publishing Group, U.K.)