This text serves as an introduction to the first publication of an extensive new selection from Sergei Eisenstein's notebooks for a film of Capital (made “according to the script of K. Marx”): the Capital Diaries. While these texts have haunted the imaginations of historians, artists, and writers (from Guy Debord to Milica Tomic and Alexander Kluge) ever since short excerpts were first published in Russian in 1973 and English in October in 1976, this introduction presents a different and much broader selection, situating the experimental dimension of the notes between their main sources, Karl Marx's Das Kapital and James Joyce's Ulysses, as well as in the discursive framework of Viktor Shklovsky's theory of “defamilarization,” Nikolai Marr's “palaeontology of speech,” Mikhail Bakhtin's notion of “polyphony,” and Eisenstein's own conceptual and cinematic propositions, such as “intellectual attraction,” “typage,” and “inner monologue.” Furthermore, it traces the use value of images and collages in Eisenstein's diaries according to their potential to recirculate Marx's concepts and reveal cinema's participation in the entangled regimes of fascism and capitalism.

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