“A fascinating forensic study and a scholarly tour de force.” — Julian Barnes
“M. DEGAS STEPS OUT is a triumph of patience and perseverance, observation and speculation, research and imagination, in an ekphrastic genre that as far as I know Philip Hoy has invented. His profound meditation involves exegeses of stills from a nine-second silent, black-and-white film of an aging Edgar Degas taking the air on a Parisian Boulevard. Hoy’s animation of these stills conjures another dimension altogether from that of the ‘movie.’ It makes one think now of Sebald, now of Proust.” — Stephen Yenser, Distinguished Research Professor of English, University of California, Los Angeles
“Philip Hoy’s protracted examination of a mere nine seconds of film of the aged Edgar Degas walking towards us down a Paris street has the effect of waking us up to the utter strangeness of human life and of the mysterious power of photography and film. Haunting.” — Gabriel Josipovici, Emeritus Professor of English, University of Sussex
“A truly remarkable piece of work, this beautifully written essay proves to be as affecting as it is enthralling. Hoy is best known as a publisher and editor, but in these pages he steps out as an equally brilliant author. M. DEGAS STEPS OUT deserves to find a wide readership.” — Jonathan Post, Distinguished Research Professor of English, University of California, Los Angeles
"Philip Hoy fully justifies spending so many pages on a mere 9 seconds of historical event. An exemplary piece of forensic research becomes, through his handling of it, an utterly absorbing story." — Christopher Reid
"I haven’t read a stranger, more original book in a very long time. It’s a wonder. I suspect that M. Degas, lover of privacy that he was, would have been delighted by the book, which it’s an understatement to call an ‘essay’. — Sherod Santos, Emeritus Professor of English, University of Missouri
“An engrossing treat: Philip Hoy’s M. DEGAS STEPS OUT examines a short illicit film of Degas in his old age and turns it into an absorbing quest.” — Miranda Seymour
“What a superb essay — a thrilling page turner and a powerfully moving memento mori. I love Hoy’s patient attention to detail, the way he looks, then looks again, and in describing what he sees dramatizes as vitally as possible the pastness of the past, its vanishing immediacy. A fabulous and riveting piece.” — Alan Shapiro, William R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor of English and Creative Writing, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Literary Nonfiction. Film. Art.
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Philip Hoy was born in London and educated at the Universities of York and Leeds. He has a Ph.D in Philosophy, a subject he taught most recently for the University of Oxford's Department for Continuing Education. Prior to founding The Waywiser Press, in 2002, Hoy joined forces with Peter Dale and Ian Hamilton and founded Between The Lines, a publishing company specializing in book-length interviews with senior contemporary poets. The three founders were subsequently joined by the then editor of The Yale Review, J. D. McClatchy. Hoy is the editor of A BOUNTIFUL HARVEST: THE CORRESPONDENCE OF ANTHONY HECHT AND WILLIAM L. MACDONALD (Waywiser, 2018), and his previous publications include W. D. Snodgrass in Conversation with Philip Hoy (Between The Lines, 1998), Anthony Hecht in Conversation with Philip Hoy (Between The Lines, 1999, 2001), and Donald Justice in Conversation with Philip Hoy (Between The Lines, 2001). A limited fine press edition of Anthony Hecht's last poems, Interior Skies: Late Poems from Liguria, for which Hoy wrote the foreword, was published in 2011 by Liv Rockefeller and Kenneth Shure's Two Ponds Press. And Hecht's one-volume Collected Poems, which has been edited and annotated by Hoy, is forthcoming from Knopf/Random House.