In three hundred varied entries, Gigantic Cinema narrates the weather of a single capricious day, from dawn through rain, volcanic ash, nuclear dust, snow, light, fog, noon, eclipse, hurricane, flood, dusk, night, and back to dawn again. It includes reactions both formal and fleeting-weather rhymes, journals and jottings, diaries and letters-to the imaginary and actual drama unfolding above our heads.
Ranging from Homer's winds and Ovid's flood to Frank O'Hara's sun, Pliny's reportage on the eruption of Vesuvius to Elizabeth Bishop's "Song for a Rainy Season," Gigantic Cinema offers an expansive collection of writing inspired by the commotion of the elements. Rather than drawing attention to authors and titles, entries appear as a medley of voices; as editors Alice Oswald and Paul Keegan write in their stunning introduction, the excerpts ask to be read "with no hat, no coat, no preconceptions, encountering each voice abruptly, as an exclamation brought on by the weather." Assembling a chorus of responses (ancient and modern, East and West) to air's manifold appearances, Gigantic Cinema offers a new perspective on the oldest conversation of all.