[Petite Planète] [complete set of the English edition]

Directed by Chris Marker

London, New York: Vista Books, Viking Press, 1959-1965. All first editions. 8vo (18x12cm) each, printed card wrappers. Each 192pp. Complete set of 28 issues. Text in English. All pages present in all volumes. General minor edge wear with minor reading creases and toning to spine. Some with light toning along edges and occasional mild creasing. [1. Italy] Minimal loss on tail of fly leaf (1cm), not affecting text or binding. [3. Germany] Small ownership sticker on top corner of fly leaf. [4. Israel] Small closed tear at head of title page. [9. Switzerland] Several markings and annotations with pen till page 42. [10. Denmark] Wrappers sealed in glassine. [14. Holland] 3cm closed tear on upper corner on page 5/6, not affecting text. [20. Egypt] Edges at rear cover slightly wavy with minor water-stains. The entire collection is generally in very good to near fine condition.


In the post-war era of the early 1950s, Chris Marker intended to create a series of books to combat the disorientation that occurred as a side effect in a world of increasing accessibility.

Nearly a decade after World War II, Marker and a group of friends, including Juliette Caputo, established the Petite Planète series under the umbrella of Éditions du Seuil and published the first issue on Austria in 1954. This series of books is intended to serve as an instruction manual for living on a small planet, similar to the manuals in the Regards Neufs series published by Peuple et Culture and Éditions du Seuil.

Chris Marker noted that, “we see the world escape us at the same time we become more aware of our links with it.”

Instead of following clichés and national stereotypes, Petite Planète looked for signs embedded in the structure and habits of everyday life, focusing on how nations and cultures organize and express themselves, how they deal with the memory of their past, and how they imagine their contributions to the future.

In order to reach a wider audience, most of the titles were translated into English and published by Vista Books and Viking Press, in the 1950s and 1960s. Thankfully, the English edition retained the original design and format of the series.

Chris Marker included contributions from Agnès Varda, Brassaï, David Seymour, Elliot Erwitt, Henri Cartier- Bresson, Robert Cappa, and William Klein in addition to his own photographs, and combined them with his archival finds such as postcards, photographs, posters, advertisements, illustrations, stamps, newspaper clippings, miniatures, and paintings.

Each issue features a female portrait on the cover, a reference to Marker‘s obsession with Carl Dreyer‘s film The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928) with the famous close-up of Maria Falconetti’s face. Chris Marker dedicated an entire essay to the film and the use of close-ups, which appeared in Peuple et Culture’s series, Regards neufs sur le cinéma, in 1953.

Consisting of 28 titles, all under the direction of Chris Marker, are the complete English edition of the Petite Planète travelogues, published by Vista Books, including very scarce titles, and unique in its entirety.

Out of stock