Paris: Editions du Seuil, 1961. First edition. 8vo, unpaginated. Illustrated with b/w photographs. With the original printed wraparound band flattened and laid in.
The scarce first edition of this artists' book printed from maquettes designed by Marker himself, which combines the spoken portion of several of his early films, matched with stills and found images, and predates the release of La Jetée the following year. The present work is one of the most brilliantly designed books of the early 1960's, and would directly inspire Richard Hollis' design for John Berger's Ways of Seeing a decade later, as Hollis described in a 2006 interview in The Eye: "The influence was Chris Marker’s book Commentaires, which has stills set within the text. I was a fan of Marker’s films. . . you read you knew exactly what was being talked about. It was a substitute for description: instead of talking about something, you show the objective visual evidence."
Later reissued in 1967 with a companion volume in an altered design, and with Marker's design credit removed, this original edition is very scarce in the trade, especially in fine condition and with the band intact. This is a square, uncreased copy, with some minor dustiness to the top edge of the text block, else fine- the nicest example we’ve seen. Item #28062