Knopf, Hardcover, 9781400040629, 352pp.
Publication Date: February 9, 2010
Based on a true story, Arthur Japin’s new novel is a tale of consuming love and artistic creation that reimagines the last romance of the legendary filmmaker Federico Fellini.
In Director’s Cut we enter the mind of Snaporaz, the lion of Italian cinema, as he slips into a coma in his final days. Having always drawn inspiration from the world of his dreams, he welcomes the chance to take account of his life and, in particular, his most recent love affair, with a beautiful but tempestuous young actress called Gala. Here is the story as Snaporaz tells it.
Lured by the glamour of Rome, Gala and her boyfriend, Maxim, an actor as well, are hoping to be discovered when they manage the impossible: entrée to the studio of the great master. Despite an age difference of four decades, Gala soon becomes Snaporaz’s mistress, leaving Maxim, guardian of her secrets and her fragile health, to be an anxious and helpless observer of her physical and spiritual decline. As Gala becomes increasingly dependent on Snaporaz’s attentions, her desperation never to disappoint him leads her down a reckless path to anorexia and prostitution before the one true bond in her life is restored.
Snaporaz’s intoxicatingly baroque—Felliniesque—account of the affair slyly challenges us again and again to ask what is dream and what is reality, and to conclude that the difference is irrelevant when such a genius immerses himself in his most natural element: the imagination. A dazzling tale from one of Europe’s most celebrated writers.
Arthur Japin, born in Haarlem in 1956, studied theater in London and Amsterdam and spent years acting on and writing for the stage, the screen, and television. He has sung with the Dutch National Opera and recently hosted his own television show. Japin’s first novel, The Two Hearts of Kwasi Boachi, was made into an opera by the British composer Jonathan Dove in 2007. Japin has won many major literary prizes, including the 2004 Libris Literary Prize for In Lucia’s Eyes. Both of these titles have been adapted as stage plays and are set to become major motion pictures. His work has been translated into more than twenty languages. He has taught at New York University and divides his time between Utrecht and the Dordogne.