A Dialogue with Solitude, 1965
Author: Dave Heath
Publisher: Horizon Press, New York
Edition: First edition
About the book:
A Dialogue with Solitude is a self-portrait in which the artist himself never really appears, but is revealed and interpreted by every detail. Its revolt is alive with sympathy and acceptance of man's modern placement in the world, mated with contradictory realization and resistance which deny and combat the absurdities of existence. This is expressed with a sincere poetry which is never shocked out of countenance by reality.
From the beginning of the sequence to its end, the viewer accompanies his unseen guide, out of darkness and troubled sleep, on a pilgrimage through an unpredictable environment where contradiction seems to be the only law. It is a solitude crowded with human beings, all of whom he recognizes and understands, but with whom he can make no exchange other than the gestures of an almost mechanical ritual. Along the way are pauses, marked by poetic quotations. It is a journey somewhat like those shown in the films of Antonioni, where the ones who really belong in the world and are its most passionate advocates seem to have no part in its inexplicable and pointless competitions.
When we have finished with this "Dialogue with Solitude" we know another of those rare works of the last few years which contemplate humanity's weaknesses, helplessnesses, hostilities and irresistible attractions, to draw from them new understanding which may be more lasting than our lost illusions.